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50 Women Game-Changers (in Food): #11 Patricia Wells - Wedge Salad with Buttermilk-Lemon Zest Dressing

33 comments /
In May '11, Gourmet posted a list of 50 Women Game-Changers (in Food) that runs the gamut from food writers to cookbook authors to television personalities to restauranteurs to chefs to food bloggers.  Some are a given.  Some are controversial.  Speaking the names of some brings fond childhood memories.  Speaking the names of others will make some readers cringe.  And of course, some of our favorites were not even included.  We food-lovers are a passionate bunch of people and whether we agree or disagree, every woman on this list has earned her place for a reason.  Being a woman who is passionate about food (cooking, eating, talking about, writing about, photographing), when I caught wind of Mary from One Perfect Bite's idea of cooking/blogging her way through each of these 50 women...one per week...I knew I wanted to join her.  Many of these women paved the way for us in culinary school, in the kitchen, in cookbooks, in food writing, and on television and I think it is a fabulous way to pay tribute to their efforts.  Some of the women on the list have been tops with me for years.  Some I have heard of (perhaps even seen, read, or cooked from) before.  And there are even a handful that I am not familiar with at all.  I excited to educate myself on each of these women game-changers and hope you look forward to reading along.  We are going in order from 1 to 50.
the "Gourmet" prompt...
11. Patricia Wells-  Milwaukee–born Wells gave us France, spreading the bistro love as the Paris–based restaurant critic of L’Express and the Herald Tribune. She taught us—and reminded the French—about Provençal cooking, and… quoi? An American woman is telling the French what to eat? Oui.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Journalist...author...teacher who runs her own cooking schools in Paris and Provence.  Former New York Times reporter...only foreigner and only woman to serve as restaurant critic for a major French publication, L’Express.  Global restaurant critic for the International Herald Tribune for more than 25 years.  Recipient of several James Beard Awards.  Oh yeah, she definitely deserves her slot in the "top 50".

I love Patricia Wells cookbooks.  I don't actually own any, but I check them out often from my library.  I always keep them for as long as I can (renew...use a different card and renew again...) so that I can page through and dream of making a simple country dish from Provence, a traditional Italian pasta, or a heavenly salad.  One day I would LOVE to attend her cooking school in Provence.  Or Paris.  I'm not picky.

Wedge Salad w/ Buttermilk-Lemon Zest Dressing
from Salad as a Meal: Healthy Main-Dish Salads for Every Season by Patricia Wells
serves 4 (& ~⅔ c. dressing)

Salad
2½ oz. (~¾ c.) smoked bacon, julienned
1 medium head iceberg lettuce, cored and cut into wedges
1 Tbs. minced fresh chives
6 oz. (~1½ c.) chilled bleu cheese, crumbled
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Buttermilk-Lemon Zest Dressing
¼ tsp. fine sea salt
½ c. buttermilk
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
salad:  Cook bacon until done and transfer to paper towel-lined plate to drain.  Combine chives, bleu cheese, and bacon with dressing* and spoon evenly over lettuce wedges.  Season with salt and plenty of pepper.  Serve.

*dressing:  Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake to blend.  Let stand for an hour to allow flavors to blend, or up to three days in the fridge.  Shake before using.
Patricia Wells (November 5, 1946 - present)
Who is cooking along with these 50 Women Game-Changers?

I am sharing this post with:
fridaypotluck FCFButton fresh food friday at la bella vita Foodie Friday Logo 2 friday food at mom trends Friday Food Fight

33 comments

  1. This is a wonderful and refreshing salad Heather!!!

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  2. Heather your photos convinced me on this one. No words needed! I am especially glad to have that lemon buttermilk dressing recipe because I bake with buttermilk and always have extra sitting in my fridge. I used to eat these 'hearts of lettuce' salads as a kid, and they bring back great memories.

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  3. I have a Patricia Wells book and I love her recipes from France, and they are quite authentic too!
    That looks amazing and I do love cabbage, I just made a chou galette recently!
    Karen

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  4. I do happily cook from Wells's Bistro Cooking and I am loving that salad - enough to make t tonight. Perfect timing! My, it looks refreshing.

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  5. I absolutely ADORE wedge salads! I am going to make this. The dressing looks diet friendly too!!

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  6. Great pick for this week's game-changer. I am loving all of Patricia's salads.

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  7. The wedge is one of my favorite salads. thank you for posting, this is one of my fav. series from you beside the bread posts, the mexican recipe, the she made,ella hace..ahh forget I ADORE you!! lol

    happy weekend!!

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  8. What a great dressing! I am a fan of Bibb lettuce and think it would be fantastic with this dressing coating! The bacon and blue cheese? ... little jewels to add to the effect! Perfect! the more I read about Patricia Wells the more impressed I am!

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  9. i love the dressing recipe..no oil!...i always have excess buttermilk too because i do like to bake with it...i usually buy low fat tho...can't wait to try this!

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  10. Hi ya! You've been awarded! Look here:
    http://covertocoverandbetween.blogspot.com/2011/08/im-versatile.html

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  11. The Provence cookbook is probably my favorite. Like you, I just keep checking the books out of the library! Nice delicious post here, Heather :-)

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  12. I've dragged my feet on wedge salads. But these photos are too tempting. Nice job, Heather!

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  13. A beautiful looking salad...so refreshing!

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  14. Heather, this looks lovely! What a fun cooking project too. :) It's just a salad kind of week. Thanks for linking on up to Friday Potluck.

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  15. What a wonderful fresh and healthy salad!!!! Love it

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  16. Oh, while we are dreaming, let's go to Provence for school!

    And I just think this series is amazing... great post

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  17. I love blue cheese dressing and this looks so good on the wedge salad! I must try it. Your photo is beautiful, makes me want to jump right in!

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  18. What a lovely salad,Heather. Her salads are all wonderful. I'm so glad you've joined our band of merry "men".
    You bring so much to the group. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  19. Oh my - this looks delicious! I love wedge salads, but I don't like eating them with blue cheese dressing for some reason... This dressing sounds like it will be delicious, though! :)

    ~Rosie

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  20. I love how simple but beautiful this salad is. Great tribute to Patricia Wells -would love to take a cooking class with her one day.

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  21. What a great summertime dish! I might have to make this one over the weekend :D
    -Karen

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  22. Love your pick...what a wonderful summery salad! The buttermilk dressing looks so rich and creamy..yum! Have a lovely week-end!

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  23. Your salad sounds delicious! I love the addition of chives. What a nice tribute to Patricia Wells!

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  24. This is truly one of my very favorite salads!

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  25. What a lovely summer salad. Patricia Wells always looks so "together", you know? Seems like an awesome lady.

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  26. I definitely drooled a bit over this salad whenever I flipped past it in this cookbook! That dressing sounds addictive.

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  27. I keep picking up "Salad as a Meal" but I keep telling myself not to buy another salad cookbook. ;-) This looks fabulous. She really has some wonderful recipes.

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  28. Divine! I've had this kind of salad a few times and I don't know why it isn't more popular!

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  29. Love wedge salads, but never thought to put them with this type of dressing! I'll definitely be trying this out as an appetizer soon. :)

    ~Lizzy

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  30. I am always looking for way to cut out preservatives out of my diet, maybe salad dressing is the next step. Also never seen a wedge salad. Looks awesome and like a time saver.

    Thanks for the recipe.
    -Sara

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