Suzi's Blog

Frozen Iceberg Lettuce with Champagne Vinegar

 

There are people who do not believe in evolution or genetics. I think they are wrong.

This recipe all started many years ago when I met Maria Guarnaschelli. CBTB was selected for testing The Joy of Cooking and Maria was the editor. At the time Maria told us of her daughter, Alex, who was into food. Ok, so a young girl is intrigue by the industry her Mom is a star in. Little did I know that  Alex would herself become a culinary superstar.

While traveling to Austin to visit my family, I was watching the Food Network and saw Alex’s new show, Alex’s Day Off. She put together a wonderful meal to share with a good friend. One recipe totally greabbed my attention: a very, very cold iceberg lettuce with a strong Dijon Vinaigrette. Take a look — but don’t over freeze the lettuce like I did the first time. Over freezing breaks down the cell walls and destroys the crunch you want.

 

Frozen Iceberg Salad with Champagne Vinegar

Yield: 2 big salads for 2 or smaller salads for 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head iceberg lettuce, outer layer removed and both ends trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small bunch fresh tarragon, washed, dried, leaves chopped

Preparation:

Put the head of lettuce on a flat surface and cut in half at the equator. Transfer the lettuce to a small tray and put it in the freezer.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, vinegar, and pinch of salt. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and then add the tarragon. Taste for seasoning and set aside.

Allow the lettuce to remain in the freezer until just before serving. They can remain in there for 4 to 6 hours, if necessary.

Suzen says: HOWEVER, by experimenting we have found that 6 hours is too much time in the freezer [too hard to navigate with a fork] and 90 minutes is just a tad light [not quite Arctic cold]. I think 2 hours will produce just the right combination of texture and cold.

When ready to serve, transfer to a platter and drizzle each half with the dressing. Serve immediately.

 

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