Excess is the key to this salad. A borderline inappropriate amount of blue cheese dressing. Way more of that everything-bagel crunchy stuff than you think is reasonable. As much bacon as a salad can handle. And a heap of fresh dill. At Turkey and the Wolf, we use a half a head of iceberg doused in nearly a pint of dressing. At home, it’s up to you.
- To make the everything-bagel stuff: Put the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried minced garlic, and dried minced onion in a large heavy skillet; set it over medium-high heat; and stir and toss constantly until it all smells sweet and nutty, like a bagel shop, 3 to 5 minutes. Dump it all onto a plate or tray and spread it out so it cools quickly.
- To assemble the salad: Line a plate with paper towels. Put the bacon in the skillet, set it over medium heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and almost crispy, about 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to scoop the bacon onto the plate.
- Whack the lettuce heads stemside down on the counter, which makes it easier to remove the bottom nubs. Or just cut the stems off. Ditch any bruised outer leaves. Cut each head in half or into equal-size wedges (whichever you want). Put the pieces on a platter, sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper on each one, then pour on the dressing and sprinkle on an offensive amount of the everything-bagel stuff.
- In a small mixing bowl, gently toss the cherry tomatoes with the oil, a generous squeeze of lemon juice, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Garnish the salad with the tomatoes, dill, and bacon. Some more pepper is good here, too.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the blue cheese, mayo, sour cream, buttermilk, lemon juice, poppy seeds, hot sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, celery salt, and celery seed. If you want, add some salt and more lemon juice until you’re happy. It keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.