Monday, March 2, 2015

Larue's Simple, Light Extraordinary Green Salad

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Larue's Simple, Light Extraordinary Green Salad 
Serves: 4

Larue's Simple, Light Extraordinary Green Salad

I have used this salad recipe often…well, very often. Every cook needs to have a “go-to” lettuce salad up his or her sleeves. This is that salad. It follows a heavy-ish first course, like a thick winter soup, and followed by protein – steak, ribs, or fish - you name it.  Are you looking for something light and fresh to serve in between courses and to cleanse the palate and lighten the spirits? This salad should do the trick; it also makes for a good starter. You could, of course, add one (but just one…or it is no longer simple) item – such as sliced avocado.

The fixins'
I love sun-dried tomatoes in so many cooked things, but not in salads. They are harsh in flavor and texture. I love semi-dried tomatoes – in salads and on pizzas. They are easy to make and store in olive oil for quite some time. They are especially spectacular during the seasons when vine-ripened tomatoes are completely unavailable. See recipe below to make them or buy them at your nearby grocer.

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 ½ Tb fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ½ Tb olive oil
  • 1 ½ Tb grapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 1 head butter lettuce, leave separated, torn if large
  • ½ head of curly lettuce, leaves separated, torn if large
  • 1 head radicchio, leaves separated, torn if large
  • 3 green onions, green and white parts, sliced thinly on diagonal
  • 10 radishes, trimmed and cut very thin (¼ inch)
  • 2 C semi-dried tomatoes, whole or roughly torn (see recipe below)
  • 2 Tb capers, rinsed, dried – briefly sauté in 1 tsp olive oil, whole or roughly chopped
To make dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, lemon juice & mustard.  Add both oils while whisking to emulsify.  Add generous amount of salt and pepper.

Wash lettuce leaves and dry well. Place in a large mixing bowl. Add the radicchio, green onions & radishes. Just before serving, add dressing and toss gently. Transfer to serving bowl or individual plates.  Add tomatoes and sprinkle capers over the top.

Semi-dried tomatoes:
  • 5 plum tomatoes
  • 8 thyme sprigs
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • 2 Tb balsamic vinegar
  • Salt

To make the semi-dried tomatoes: Preheat oven to 275-degree F. Quarter the tomatoes, vertically and place skin-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Arrange thyme sprigs on top of them. Drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 1½ hours, or until semi-dried. Discard the thyme and allow to cool slightly. Once cooled, I like to easily peel off the skin. That is a preference and certainly not required. Store in refrigerator in olive oil for up to a week or two. I use these in salads, sandwiches and on pizzas!
Getting ready to dry in the oven
After drying....concentrated flavor!
I love it!  You will too.


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