Mediterranean Green Salad with Herbs and Fennel

From the Wine Enthusiast Pairings Book

No everyday green salad, this recipe, created by food authority Michelle Anna Jordan, combines two lettuces, scallions, fennel, toasted pine nuts, and no less than five fragrant, fresh herbs. Aptly entitled, the recipe was inspired by salads from Sicily and the Greek Isles.

Pairing

Garden herb freshness is the key to this pairing. Try a dry, clean Spanish Cava; recommended producers include Marqués de Monistrol, Codorníu and Freixenet.

Ingredients
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, leaves separated, rinsed, and dried
  • 1 head red leaf or butter lettuce, leaves separated, rinsed, and dried
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, tough outer leaves removed, the bulb very thinly sliced
  • 3 scallions, trimmed and very thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced (optional)
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
Directions

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, and plenty of pepper. Set aside.

Stack about a third of the lettuce leaves and roll them lengthwise. Cut them crosswise into thin (about 3/8-inch) slices. Put the cut lettuce into a large salad bowl and continue cutting until all of the lettuce has been sliced.

Add the fennel, scallions, and all of the herbs to the bowl of lettuce, sprinkle with several generous pinches of salt, and toss gently. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and gently toss to coat. Scatter the pine nuts over the top and serve immediately.

Published on December 18, 2009
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