Friday, March 14, 2014

Foundation Romaine Salad

People complain all the time that their salads don't taste the same as restaurants'. 

No shit--if you use spring mix that wilts at the sight of a drop of balsamic, don't dry your greens, and don't bother to evenly toss everything together, you'll end up with simultaneously greasy, soggy, and bland salad.

Good salads go light on the dressing, have a balance of oil and acidity (lemon juice or vinegar), and are tasted for salt and pepper. Dried greens help the dressing adhere to every bite and stay nicely emulsified.

This is a true restaurant-quality staple, one we’ve made countless times in many variations. It may not look like much, but it’s all you need with a roast chicken or steak. Try jazzing it up with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, thinly sliced fennel, whole tarragon leaves, minced shallot, or chopped hard-boiled egg if you want a more complete dish. Just be sure to taste a leaf before you serve it. Bonus points for using chilled plates.

Foundation Romaine Salad

Cooking Time
5 minutes

2 servings

Chef's knife
Cutting board
Mandoline (optional)
Salad spinner or paper towels

1 head of romaine lettuce
2 radishes
Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 pinches of kosher salt or sea salt

1. Trim ~1 inch off head of lettuce. Discard trimmings or feed to your adorable rabbit. Cut lettuce into 1 inch pieces. Rinse in cold water and dry thoroughly with salad spinner or paper towels.

2. Trim radish bottoms. Slice thinly (around the thickness of a coin) with mandoline or tip of chef's knife.

3. Toss lettuce and radishes together with lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. Taste and correct seasoning. Serve immediately.

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