gastronome
not-so-chopped-salad

I had a pseudo-chopped salad at Indigo a few weeks ago, and thought it was super tasty. I filed away the basic ingredients in my head (romaine, red cabbage, fava beans, pancetta chunks, green apples, avocado, and a very parsley-fied mustard dressing with blue cheese crumbled atop) for a future reproduction. When Forrest dropped by last Sunday, i took a shot at it - it was different, but i think really yummy. The red cabbage adds a nice flavor, crunch, and visual contrast. I served this with risotto with morels, fava beans, and capricious cheese. (Hence, no favas in my salad.)

for the salad:
--A mix of crunchy/firm lettuce (i used red leaf and a romaine heart. All romaine would be fine, but don't use a mesclun mix for this salad)
--red cabbage
--a green apple
--avocado
--pancetta
--blue cheese (i used point reyes blue)
--fava beans (optional)

for the dressing:
--a flavorful but not-too-spicy mustard (you're going to use a lot.)
--a ton of parsley (i prefer flat-leaf/italian)
--a bit of vinegar (white wine, sherry, & red wine are all ok, but don't use balsamic)
--some olive oil
--salt & pepper
--A little juice (i used apple-cherry cider)

Method:
Use a 4:1 ratio of lettuce to cabbage. Maybe even a little less cabbage. Wash and dry your lettuces. Chop the lettuce into fairly small pieces, and slice the cabbage finely. Tuck your salad bowl in the fridge for a while.

Make your dressing: purée the parsley (you want at least 4 big handfuls - the dressing should be REALLY green) with 3-4 tablespoons of mustard, a tablespoon of vinegar (i used a really nice spanish sherry vinegar), and a few tablespoons of olive oil. Thin to taste with olive oil and a tablespoon or two of juice, until the dressing is thinner than a mayo, but a little thicker than a caesar dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. It should be a very green tasting, round, mellow dressing.

Cut your pancetta into small cubes (1/3" or so?), and brown and drain them. Crumble some blue cheese into a bowl.

Dice the apples and the avocado to a similarly-sized dice.

Toss the salad at the last minute, reserving the blue cheese and a third of the avocado. Plate with a little extra avocado and a mound of blue cheese on top.

Posted by shock on May 31, 2003 | TrackBack
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