Prep time: 20-30 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 40 min
Yield: 8 servings
Whenever I asked what was in the dressings used on the wonderful salads in France, the reply was usually "oil and vinegar." They were very delicate and not vinegary like American dressings. These are crisp greens with a mild dressing thickened and lightly flavored with ground roasted walnuts excellent with pasta, roasted meats, or fish.
What this recipe shows:
· Using less vinegar than the standard one part vinegar to three parts oil produces a more delicate flavor balance and a delicious salad dressing.
· Dry salad greens require a minimum of dressing.
· Adding ground roasted walnuts thickens the dressing and adds flavor.
Mixed Greens with Walnuts
- 1 small head Boston lettuce
- 1 small head Bibb lettuce
- 1 small head romaine lettuce
- 1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 teaspoon and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt (1 3/4 teaspoons total)
- 2 large shallots, peeled and halved
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 cup canola, corn, peanut, mild olive, or other vegetable oil
- 1 pound fresh mushrooms
- 1. Wash the lettuces and soak for 10 to 30 minutes in cold water. Spin dry, then wrap in a clean towel to dry thoroughly. Remove and place in zip-top plastic bags, squeeze out the air, seal, and refrigerate.
- 2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- 3. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and roast until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. While the walnuts are hot, stir in the butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt. With the steel knife in the workbowl, turn on the food processor and drop the shallots one at a time down the feedtube onto the spinning blade to mince. Add the vinegar, sugar, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, pepper, and mustard. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the oil. Add 1/4 cup of the walnuts and process a few seconds to grind. Set aside.
- 4. When ready to serve, slice the mushrooms thinly. Tear the lettuce into bite-size pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the mushrooms and 1/2 cup dressing and toss very well to coat each piece. Taste and add more dressing or salt if needed. Place on a cold salad platter or individual salad plates. Top with remaining walnuts and serve immediately.