Monday, April 9, 2012

French Salad

Iceberg lettuce has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid.  Seriously, one of my guilty pleasures is getting an Italian salad from one of those pizza joints with extra shredded pizza cheese on top.  Then I inhale the whole thing.  Don't judge.

Ordinarily, I can be found picking out all of the "goodies" from a salad, leaving a heap of healthy green lettuce behind.  That is, until I tried this delicious salad, consisting of only lettuce and a simple, tangy vinaigrette.

When visiting France over the holidays, I was introduced to this simple and delicious concoction.  It's been on the menu a lot since then and will be for a long time to come.

The ingredient list for the dressing calls for "soup spoons" as measurements.  That's what our French grandma uses.  It's basically a large tablespoon but as long as you keep the proportions similar to the ones below, it will be delicious.

1 package of washed baby romaine (you can use any leaf or mixed lettuce here, as well)
1 shallot, minced
1/2 soup spoon Dijon mustard
3 soup spoons white vinegar (they use "alcohol vinegar" in France but I can't find that here, so white works just fine)
1 1/2 soup spoons extra virgin olive oil
Freshly cracked salt and pepper to taste

- Wash, dry and spin lettuce (hint: if the lettuce is wet at all, the dressing won't stick!); set aside

- Mince Shallot into the same bowl that you plan to use to serve the salad

- Add Dijon mustard; stir
- Whisk in vinegar, then olive oil
- Add salt and pepper to taste (do not skip this step; the seasoning is important!)
- Add lettuce to bowl and toss very well to incorporate dressing

Seriously, it's that easy.

I served the salad this particular night with a Spanish Frittata but it adds a refreshing balance to any brunch, lunch or dinner!

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