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Iceberg Wedge with Crispy Venison

Lots of people knock iceberg lettuce for its lack of nutritional value as compared to other lettuces. Iceberg is low on vitamins A and C compared to darker-leafed greens, but it’s crisp, crunchy and sits high and proud on a plate. This recipe simply builds a classic wedge-and-blue-cheese salad upon seasoned, pounded and seared venison medallions. If desired, substitute your favorite brand of prepared blue cheese dressing for the recipe below.

Iceberg Wedge with Crispy Venison

Ingredients

  • 1 pound venison from backstrap or hindquarter trimmed
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large tomato cut into 4 equal slices
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce outer leaves removed - cut into 4 wedges from stem end to top
  • 1 red onion thinly sliced and broken into rings
  • 1 firm ripe avocado - peeled, seeded and quartered
  • 1/3 cup cooked bacon crumbled
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbled

Dressing

  • 1/4 pound crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • To prepare dressing, combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor, and pulse until smooth. Keep refrigerated until ready to dress salad.
  • Cut venison into 4 equal portions. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Place between plastic wrap, and lightly pound until very thin. If the meat tears a little while pounding, it's OK. It needs to be thin enough to be very tender when cooked. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add venison, 1 or 2 pieces at a time, and cook for about 2 minutes per side or until well browned and crisp. Allow cooked meat to rest for a few minutes before placing flat on the center of each plate.
  • For each salad, place a tomato slice on the center of the venison. Place a wedge on top of the lettuce. Arrange a few onion rings around lettuce. Place an avocado wedge at the base of the lettuce. Drizzle dressing over lettuce. Top with bacon and crumbled blue cheese. If desired, grind additional pepper over salad.

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