wedge salad + avocado and pickled onions

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wedge salad + avocado and pickled onions

Serves: depends who’s eating it | Preparation time: 25 minutes

Wedge salads have a soft space in my heart when it comes to salads. Yeah, iceberg doesn’t contain much in the way of nutrients, but it doesn’t mean we can’t add variety to get there. Add some grilled shrimp and you’ve got a party!


For the pickled red onions

  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 125g cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon each: black peppercorns, fennel seed and coriander seed
  • 110g water
  • 6g salt (sea salt or kosher salt)
  • 15g maple syrup or honey

For the rest of the salad

  • 1/4 cup (35 grams) pepitas
  • 3 tablespoons (40 grams) olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small (3/4 to 1 pound) head of iceberg
  • 1 medium avocado, chopped in chunks
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) crumbled cotija cheese
  • 2 radishes, thinly sliced then cut into matchsticks (optional)

Chef Tips


Step 1 (for the pickled red onions)

Peel the onions and cut in half. Slice on a mandoline (don’t be shy to rely on your knife skills!) about ¼-inch thick. Place into a large bowl.

Step 2

In a dry skillet toast the spices over medium high heat until fragrant. About 30 seconds. Allow to cool. Place into a small sachet (cheesecloth) and tie with butchers twine. If you don’t have cheesecloth or twine you can add directly into the liquid.

Step 2

Stir together the cider vinegar, water, salt and maple syrup. Bring to a simmer for about 1 minute, turn off the heat. Pour over the onions. Press the onions down with a spoon in the first few minutes so that they’re covered by the liquid. Over time the onions will release there natural juices as well.

Let cool to room temperature. Transfer to some glass containers; cover and refrigerate. Wait at least 1 hour to serve. This can be done days in advance.

Step 3

Combine pepitas with 3 tablespoons olive oil in a small skillet and warm over medium heat. Stir constantly in oil for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and let cool for few minutes before using.

Step 4

Cut your iceberg into halves, then each half into 4 wedges. Cut the wedges down into smaller triangles, keeping the little pyramids intact as best you can for the baby wedge appearance. Transfer them to your serving plate. Scatter iceberg with avocado, then spoon pepitas and their oil over everything. Scatter with rings of pickled onion, and spoon the vinegar brine left behind over the lettuce. Garnish with cotija cheese and radishes. Season the whole platter with salt and pepper and eat right away.