This herbed lettuce salad is meant to be served cold and to be very refreshing; perfect for hot summer evenings. It can be divided between two people lettuce salad for a large dinner salad or between four as a side salad or appetizer. Any leftover lettuce and herbs can be kept rolled in the tea towel and kept the fridge for up to a week.
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- 1 small fennel bulb, shaved and fennel fronds
- 1 small head of radicchio
- 1 small head of gem lettuce
- 1 small head of pink and green radicchio
- ½ cup (125 ml) basil leaves
- ½ cup (125 ml) mint leaves
- ¼ cup (60 ml) thyme leaves
- ½ cup (125 ml) toasted pine nuts
- Maldon sea salt flakes*
- fresh black pepper
- 4 tbsp (60 ml) rice wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp (45 ml) truffle oil*
- Fill a large bowl with cold water and a large handful of ice.
- Add the shaved fennel slices, as well as all of the lettuce leaves.
- Soak for 15 min or until the lettuces are very chilled and slightly crisp.
- Meanwhile toast the pine nuts in a small frying pan over low heat for 10 min or until pine nuts are golden brown,
- Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
- Remove the lettuce from the water bath, and drain in a colander fora few minutes before transferring to a clean tea towel.
- Roll the lettuce into the tea towel and let rest, add the herbs to the water bath while making the dressing.
- Whisk the vinegar and the truffle oil together.
- Remove the herbs from the water bath and pat dry.
- Divide the lettuces and shaved fennel between the plates, layering the different lettuces, fennel, fennel fronds, herbs and pine nuts.
- Once the salads are built, drizzle with the dressing, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately.
*(Maldon salt and truffle oil can be found at most grocery stores or specialty stores now. If preferred, quality salt and olive oil can be substitute instead)
Publisher’s Note: Carol Dudar is a Toronto based recipe developer and food stylist.