Butter Lettuce with Apples & Walnuts

salad (crop).JPG

Salad isn't something I give much thought to, particularly in the winter when the best salad ingredients are out of season, don't have as much flavor, and tend to be expensive.  My salads typically include whatever random ingredients I happen to have available and usually when I see salad recipes, I flip right past them.  This one in the January issue of Bon Appétit caught my eye as it includes many of my favorite ingredients, all of which are readily available in January in Colorado.  

salad (top).jpg

Butter lettuce is grown hydroponically, which has always intrigued me and I like that it keeps well and tastes great; however, it does wilt quickly so keep that in mind when you make this salad.  Don't dress the salad until you are ready to eat it and if you know you'll have leftovers, I'd dress each salad individually - this will wilt shortly after you add the dressing.  That said, the flavor combination is tasty and the dressing has a nice tang.  For added flavor, toss in a cup of pomegranate seeds.  The original recipe calls for these but my grocery store didn't have the seeds or pomegranates and the salad was lovely without.

Butter Lettuce with Apples and Walnuts

Yield = 4 servings

Recipe adapted from The Dandelion in Philadelphia, PA via the January 2012 Bon Appétit

Ingredients

Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot

1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/3 cup vegetable oil or olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salad

2 heads of butter lettuce leaves, gently torn

1 1/2 cups raw walnuts, chopped

2 Honeycrisp or Fuji apple, quartered, cored, thinly sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola or blue cheese

Preparation

Vinaigrette

Whisk first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper.

Salad

Place lettuce in a large bowl. Add walnuts, and apples and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with cheese.  Toss salad with vinaigrette in the bowl or dress each salad individually and serve immediately.

salad with depth.JPG