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Salads, Vegetarian

Butter lettuce salad with cipolline vinaigrette

Butter lettuce salad with cipolline vinaigrette
Los Angeles Times

Maybe they'd had just one too many plates of mizuna or mesclun, but sometime last summer, chefs began putting butter lettuce on restaurant menus as if they'd just discovered the stuff. Now it seems that every restaurant in town has ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour (includes onion roasting time) | Serves 4

Cipolline vinaigrette

  • 2 to 3 peeled cipolline onions
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a pinch, divided
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon aged (25 to 50 years) sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Step 1Peel the cipollini and place them on a baking sheet with a pinch of salt and a teaspoon olive oil. Roast in a 400-degree oven, turning occasionally for even browning, until brown and soft, about 45 minutes.

Step 2Place the onions with the remaining ingredients into a blender or food processor (or into a deep bowl, if using an immersion blender). Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Makes three-fourths cup.

Salad

  • 1 head butter lettuce
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • 3 tablespoons crumbled Point Reyes (or Maytag) blue cheese
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped spicy smoked almonds
  • 1 red pear, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup cipollini vinaigrette
  • Pinch fleur de sel
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper

Step 1Trim and discard the roots of the lettuce and watercress. Separate the lettuce into leaves. Stem the cress. Wash both with cold water and spin dry.

Step 2Place the lettuce and watercress in a bowl. Add the almonds, pear, one-third cup vinaigrette, the fleur de sel and pepper. Toss gently.

Step 3To serve, divide the salad among four plates or bowls.

Note: From chef Seth Greenburg of Biggs restaurant in Long Beach. The restaurant uses hydroponic butter lettuce and watercress. You may substitute additional sherry vinegar for the aged sherry vinegar.

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