Butter Lettuce Salad With Red Wine Vinaigrette
by Benjamin Maides, Chef, Au Courant Regional Kitchen, Omaha, Nebraska
- 1 head butter lettuce, washed, leaves whole
- 1 watermelon radish, sliced and julienned
- 3 red radishes, thinly sliced
- 2 cara cara oranges, supremed*
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- ½ cup pickled red onions
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- Red Wine Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
- *To supreme a citrus fruit, use a chefs or paring knife to remove the fruit’s peel. Run the knife between each segment to remove it from the pith.
In a large bowl, combine the butter lettuce leaves, radishes, oranges, parsley, onions, parmesan, and sunflower seeds. Add the vinaigrette and toss. To assemble the salad, stack the leaves, starting with the large leaves on the bottom, working your way up to smaller leaves on the top to for the shape of a flower. Top with seasoned radishes, oranges, parsley, onions, parmesan, and onions.
Red Wine Vinaigrette
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- ¾ cup canola oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
To a bowl, add the vinegar, mustard, and thyme. Slowly add the oil, stirring continuously to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pickled Red Onions
- 1 red onion, halved and then thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup rice vinegar (or substitute apple cider or white wine vinegar)
- 1 small clove garlic, peeled and sliced
- 5 black peppercorns
- 5 whole allspice berries
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 dried chili (optional)
- 2 to 3 cups water
- Sealable jar or container
In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. In the jar or container, combine the sugar, salt, vinegar, garlic, peppercorns, allspice, thyme, and chile (if using). Transfer the sliced onion to a colander in the sink and carefully pour the boiling water over them.
Add the onions to the jar and stir gently. Seal and let rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Pickled onions should be stored in the refrigerator and will keep for up to three weeks.