May 252015
 
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Lettuce with Tarragon Vinaigrette

 

I recently got some locally grown organic Green and Red Oak Leaf lettuce heads from The Farm House (Dubai). Oak Leaf lettuce is a loosely packed head of lettuce with a soft leaf and mild flavour. It’s perfect on its own served with a simple vinaigrette.

 

As luck would have it, I’d been eyeing a deliciously simple herby vinaigrette dressing on the Williams-Sonoma website for ‘Butter Lettuce with Mustard Vinaigrette’, so I knew exactly how I wanted to serve these beautiful tender lettuce leaves.

 

I made a few small changes to the salad dressing, such as slightly increasing the amount of extra virgin olive oil and substituting scallions/spring onions for chives (I didn’t have any chives in the house), but I basically stayed true to the original recipe.

 

Although Williams-Sonoma calls the dressing ‘Mustard Vinaigrette’, for me the main flavour coming through loud and clear is the fragrant fresh tarragon which is why I have called it ‘Tarragon Vinaigrette’. To get the best flavour, it is crucial to give the flavours time to infuse by letting the salad dressing rest for about 2 hours at room temperature or upto 48 hours in your refrigerator.

 

Share your thoughts in the comment section: What is your favourite salad dressing for simple lettuce leaves?

 

Lettuce with Tarragon Vinaigrette

 

LETTUCE with TARRAGON VINAIGRETTE

(Serves 4 as a side salad)

 

 

Dressing Ingredients (makes 1/2 cup):

4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1&1/2 Tbsp red wine (grape) vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp tarragon leaves

1 Tbsp parsley leaves

1 Tbsp chives or scallions/spring onions

pinch of sea salt

 

Salad Ingredients:

2 heads of loosely-packed soft leaves (ie. Oak Leaves, Butterhead, Boston, Bibb)

 

Directions:

  1. Prepare your salad dressing first so that you give it enough time to rest for the flavours to develop (2 hours at room temperature or upto 48 hours in the refrigerator).
  2. Wash your herbs and dry them in a tea towel or kitchen roll. Place them on a cutting board and finely chop them.
  3. If you are using scallions/spring onions instead of chives, remove the outer layer and roots. Wash and dry it, and thinly slice it (both green and white parts).
  4. Get a jar with a lid and some measuring spoons. Add the extra virgin olive oil, red wine (grape) vinegar, Dijon mustard, herbs, scallions and a pinch of salt. Shake it well. Taste it to check if you need to add more salt. At this point, don’t be discouraged if you can’t taste the tarragon as it takes time for the flavour to develop.
  5. Set the dressing aside (2 hours at room temperature or upto 48 hours in the refrigerator).
  6. Prepare your salad by separating the leaves. If the outside leaves are wilted, then discard them. Otherwise if they are fresh, you can go ahead and use them.
  7. Wash the lettuce leaves and dry them well in a salad spinner or on a tea towel/kitchen towel.
  8. Refrigerate the leaves once they are dry, wrapped in some kitchen roll/paper towels.
  9. When you are ready to serve, remove the dressing from the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. Get 4 small plates and place 5-6 lettuce leaves on each one. Serve immediately with the dressing on the side or drizzled on top.

 

Share your thoughts in the comment section: What is your favourite salad dressing for simple lettuce leaves?

 

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