As I have stated before, salads can be rather ordinary if they are treated as just a side show rather than as one of the main features of a meal. I am trying to change how I think about salads, and hoping I can convince you too that salads need not be dinner’s boring but healthy red headed stepchild!
And if this salad doesn’t do the trick, we might as well all throw out our salad spinners and go back to iceberg lettuce wedges with Russian dressing. (Did we really eat that stuff?)
So in keeping with summer and delicious salads worthy of even the most discerning palate, I offer you my version of a salad I enjoyed a few weeks ago at Marion’s Bistro in La Conner, WA. The salad was just so amazing. The presentation was glorious and the taste magnificent. Is there really anything more I should say? Nope!! Just try this salad and see for yourself.
(And since I knew you were wondering – the beans I served with the salad are called Golden Gate beans. More to come later this week on this new to me delicious bean varietal I purchased at our local farmer’s market. And the meat – lamb chops.)
- ¼ c. mayonnaise
- ¼ c. coarsely chopped roasted red pepper
- 2 tsp. chopped chives
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 romaine heart cut down the middle lengthwise complete with base (the base will keep the leaves together)
- 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 strips thick meaty bacon, cut into small pieces and fried until crisp
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- room temperature* crumbled creamy Gorgonzola or blue cheese (we love Black River Gorgonzola Cheese made in Wisconsin)
- balsamic glaze (basically balsamic vinegar reduced to the thickness of syrup)
Whirl the mayonnaise and roasted red pepper together in a small food processor until smooth. Add the chives, salt, and pepper. Set aside. Paint the cut side of romaine halves with the olive oil. Grill just until lettuce starts to wilt and turn brown. Serve on a plate grilled side up with mayonnaise dressing, crumbled bacon, tomato pieces, cheese crumbles, and a healthy drizzle of balsamic glaze.
This recipe obviously makes enough for two. Need more? Sacrifice more hearts for the good of the cause!
*In my opinion, almost any type of cheese tastes best when served at room temperature. And some cheeses, like French Brie for example, are even better if they are served warm.