Chef Caroline Glover Slays With the Slab Salad

BY Linnea Covington

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There is absolutely the right way to eat a wedge salad, said chef Caroline Glover while sitting down at Traveling Mercies, her new spot in the Stanley Marketplace. Turns out you need a knife, fork, and the gumption to create a mess on the plate.

“It stresses me out, people eat all the dressing and goodies off the top and leave the rest plain,” explained Glover, who also runs the award-winning restaurant Annette in the same marketplace. “They are probably thinking it was over dressed, but then boring.”

Her solution, the slab salad. Glover first thought of it while scrolling through social media. She caught a glimpse of a post by Dan Giust. In it, the founder and CEO of Brigaid, a company dedicated to teaching foodservice programs how to make nutritious meals for, but not limited to, schools, prisons, and senior centers, was making a slab salad. Something clicked and the next day she started creating the dish.

Instead of the traditional hunk of iceberg lettuce, she cuts the head into slabs. In a way, it’s like slicing a loaf of bread but in lettuce form. Using this method means more surface area. Hence, a superior way to divvy up the tasty topping, which include sun-dried tomato dressing, blue cheese dressing, parsley, a pinch of Old Bay seasoning, and chopped pancetta. Best part, it costs the same to make since lettuce portions out identically to the previous wedge salad.

bar with mountain view
Go to Traveling Mercies for the slab salad, stay for the view. | Photo by Linnea Covington

“The slab salad is perfect since it’s all one thickness and you can coat the top [evenly],” said the chef. “I saw someone eating it and cutting it in fours with a steak knife and serving it like pie, they just knew how to do it.”

The idea of the slab salad isn’t new. However most places that serve the wedge salad this way don’t use the word “slab.” The wedge, as the dish often gets called, dates back over 100 years ago. The first printed mention of the salad was in Marion Harris Neil’s 1916 cookbook, Salads, Sandwiches and Chafing Dish Recipes. It’s been a steakhouse staple since then, with the basic recipe of iceberg, blue cheese, and bacon remaining consistent.

Try the chef’s glorious version at Traveling Mercies, the bar and snack spot Glover opened in December, 2023. Here she serves the slab salad instead of the wedge, keeping the price at $12. Head to the intimate spot not only for the umami-heavy, craveable salad, but for the view of the mountains and excellent cocktails. We found the perfect pairing, the signature martini ($16) with Kyro gin, Manzanilla sherry, tarragon, and preserved lemon. 

Visit Traveling Mercies Tuesday through Saturday from 4 to 10 p.m., and Sunday 4 to 9 p.m. Located on the third floor of the Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas St., Aurora, travelingmerciesbar.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Linnea Covington

Linnea Covington is the managing editor of DiningOut. She comes to us with a long background in food, restaurant and drinks journalism. Over the last two decades she’s written for tons of publications including Denver Post, Washington Post, Forbes Travel Guide, 5280 Magazine, New York Magazine, New York Times, Time Out New York and more.

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