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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Butterhead Lettuce, Avocado, and Chèvre Salad

My wife loves butterhead (or butter-leaf, as she calls it) salads.
In fact, the butterhead variety of lettuce was totally foreign to me before I met her.

I remember the very first meal she ever prepared for me.

It was a butterhead lettuce salad, with avocado and chevre in a light vinaigrette.

Just like this.


We nabbed a couple of (tiny) heads at the Farmers' Market last weekend.  They were very small, but very tender.

So, I washed, trimmed, and dried the lettuce and then sliced up half of an avocado.  I sliced the avocado half into small cubes, put them in their own small mixing bowl, and then squeezed a half a lemon's worth of juice on them.

This is a lot, but we're going to save what's left in order to form the base of the vinaigrette, in just a second.  Besides, it helps keep the avocado from turning brown, so dual-purpose.

Next, I seasoned the avocado with a bit of freshly-ground black pepper, a dash of marjoram (lots of other herbs would work too), and a pinch of salt.

That gets added to the lettuce, in a large serving bowl, but try to keep the juice at the bottom so don't just up-end the whole thing.

To the leftover juice, and spices in that small mixing bowl, I added a couple swigs of my flavoured red wine vinegar (herbes de Provence) but really any light vinegar would work.  An apple cider vinegar is lovely, as is a couple glugs of a light white or rosé wine.

Give that a whisk and that's ready to be put on immediately before serving.

After that it's just a couple of finishing touches to the salad.

Crumble in a few large chunks of chèvre (goat's) cheese.

And then sprinkle something on for texture.  Like 'crunchy' texture.  I like nuts, almost any kind of nut will do.  An extremely hard toast or crouton would also work.

Myself, for this salad, I sprinkled some sliced almonds over top.

Then just pour on your vinaigrette, and serve!