Red Oak Leaf Salad

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Admittedly, when I first went to the farmers’ market to get lettuce, I was searching for peppery arugula. But when I saw this red oak leaf lettuce, I couldn’t resist. The “greens” (actually the leaves are green and brick red) are satiny and soft, and the taste is delicate and gentle. Think edible silk! When composing the salad, I picked ingredients along three dimensions– local and in season (i.e., baby beets), texture (i.e., toasted hazelnuts), and color (i.e., red grapefruit). Along with the roasted carrot vinaigrette, the result is a beautiful, delicate, and flavorful salad that stimulates all of your senses.

Red Oak Leaf Salad

Ingredients:

red oak leaf lettuce (or other salad greens of choice)

2-3 tablespoons fresh parsley, cilantro, mint and/or oregano (I used all four)

1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts (roughly chopped)

1/2 cup roasted baby beet strips

1 grapefruit (in segments)

salt, pepper, olive oil

roasted carrot vinaigrette (see recipe below)

Method:

*Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Wash and peel beets. Slice into thin strips. Add to baking pan. Drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 20-25 minutes, or until beets are crispy. Set aside.

*Wash salad greens and herbs. Add to bowl and mix to combine. Peel and slice grapefruit (remove pith). Chop hazelnuts. Heat small frying pan on medium low. Add hazelnuts to dry pan and roast for 8-10 minutes or just until you smell the hazelnuts.

*Plate the salad by arranging greens and herbs, beets, grapefruit, and hazelnuts. Add 1-2 tablespoons of vinaigrette in dollops to plate. Drizzle plate with olive oil. Reserve remaining vinaigrette.

Roasted Carrot Vinaigrette

I made this salad the same day that I made the glazed carrots from the last post. So, I decided to make a vinaigrette using the carrots (before adding the glaze). I used only a small bit of oil and acid, so this “vinaigrette” is more like a puree, but I wanted it to hold up to the salad’s other colors and flavors. I think it worked really well, particularly with the final drizzle of olive oil at the end.

Ingredients

2 roasted baby carrots

1 sauteed shallot

juice from 1 lime

1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon dijon vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

Method:

*Chop shallot. Saute in olive oil until soft.

*Blend all ingredients in food processor. 


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Tiffany M. Griffin is the woman behind Como Water, Washington DC’s premiere veg-centric cuisine consulting company. Through cooking classes, demonstrations, catering, and consultations, Como Water gives people the opportunity to learn how to prepare veg-centric cuisine that boasts maximum flavor, with minimal effort. Tiffany is quickly becoming a go-to expert on the future of veg-centric cuisine, and is a regular contributor to Como Water, the blog, as well as to vegetarian and vegan sites across the Internet. For over a decade, this self-taught, entrepreneurial expert has developed a set of tried and true techniques for making simple, delicious, and sometimes decadent veg-centric dishes. Featured on the Steve Harvey Show and other leading media outlets, Tiffany was born and raised in Springfield, MA. She then earned Bachelors degrees in Psychology and Communications from Boston College and a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Michigan. She now resides in Washington DC, where she has worked in the US Senate and at a federal agency on issues around health, food, nutrition, and international food aid/development, and of course, as the owner of Como Water. Tiffany gets culinary inspiration from the food she grew up eating, and from her travels throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa. She is dedicated to sharing her wealth of knowledge on veg-centric cuisine with others and to help others live by her mantra—love life, live long, and eat veg-centric cuisine!

Comments

  1. I love salads and this one looks like a nice change-up from the salads I normally make. Thanks!

  2. What a lovely salad…nuts, roasted beet strips, grapefruit…great combination!!!

  3. What a beautiful salad! The carrot vinaigrette is certainly interesting–I’ll have to try this. Thanks!

  4. I love the roasted carrot vinaigrette!!

  5. So refreshing! I love salads! I will have to try this carrot vinaigrette.

  6. What a gorgeous salad! It looks fantastic and very unique.

  7. Oh, how this reminds me of spring! It must be incredibly light but filled with so much flavor! I can just imagine all the flavors and textures together but ooh, edible silk?!?! I must try it out :-)

  8. Fabulous color. The grapefruit is a wonderful salad addition….talk about yummy burst of flavor. 😉

  9. I love the idea of adding grapefruit to a salad too. They’re probably my favorite fruit in the winter.

  10. That looks like a gourmet salad! Nice job! :)

  11. Love salads. I can always have salads as a main course … loads of it! This looks yummy! And the glazed carrots post …. lovely and mouth-watering!

  12. Lovely salad! I love the beet strips and the hazelnuts in here, delicious!

  13. Nice looking salad, Tiffkey. While I enjoy a good salad, my wife the Salad Queen practically LIVES on it. I’m forwarding this to her. Thanks!

  14. what a beautiful salad, and I love the roasted carrot dressing!
    Cheers
    Dennis

  15. Wow, this salad looks so fresh and delicious! I love hazelnuts as well, so this definitely is going on my to-make list. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Thanks for the positive feedback everyone! I was just saying to my sister that the roasted beet strips were so crunchy and delicious, they reminded me of (vegan) bacon! I know, I know, for meat eaters, likening beets to bacon is blasphemy, but I haven’t had meat in 16 years, so for me it was like bacon! 😀 I do hope you try the salad and especially the dressing!

  17. Wow, that’s amazing. I’ve never heard of red oak leaf lettuce before so I’ll have to keep my eyes open. I love the sound of the carrot dressing and the roasted beets. What a wonderful amount of work to bring out all the best flavors.

  18. Estupenda! looks really refreshing and delicious!.
    Regards.
    Begoña