Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hello, Salad!

I am learning that some of the best dishes can be the simplest. Warm chocolate pudding, asparagus with a poached egg, tomatoes just picked and warm from the sun still, freshly picked strawberries with a little whipped cream. Something doesn't have to be fancy to be good. There doesn't need to be an ingredient list that has 21 things on it which entails trips to 3 stores to find everything (I know, I do have some recipes like that on this site).

This recipe is one of those simple, but good ones. I foresee this being a repeat performer as the lettuce comes on full force in the next weeks/months (including the one red leaf lettuce in my card that survived our Big Chill in February!). This is one kinda fancy, non-pantry staple in here--hazelnut oil. Buy one bottle and enjoy this salad all spring (and summer if you are fortunate enough to have lettuce all summer).

The amount of dressing is double what the original recipe called for. I thought with the given proportions, the lettuce was a bit dry. Add half of the dressing, taste, and add more as you desire.

This serves 2- 4.

Hello, Salad
from In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite by Melissa Clark

2 t white wine vinegar
1/4 t salt
3 T hazelnut oil
6 c salad greens (to be honest, I have no idea how many greens I used, it doesn't really matter, just add and adjust other ingredients to your own preferences based on the amount of greens you have)
handful of basil, mint, parsley, or cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/4 c hazelnuts

Toast the hazelnuts in a 325 degrees oven for 10 - 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The hazelnuts are toasted with they smell very fragrant (but not burnt). To loosen husks, roll between a folded kitchen towel. Some husks will remain, which is just fine, just get the loose ones off. Cool and chop.

Combine the vinegar, salt, and oil in a little glass jar. Shake well to emulsify the oil (or you can use whatever method you prefer for making dressing). Place greens, herbs, and hazelnuts in a salad bowl and toss. Drizzle half of vinaigrette over top, toss. Taste and add more vinaigrette and salt as you desire.

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