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Gem Lettuce Salad

Gem Lettuce
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This composed salad from Etrusca uses dates and candied walnuts to create a deliciously light starter packed with flavor and crunch. 

Ingredients

For the candied walnuts:

  • 1 ½ cups walnuts
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 ½ tablespoons sugar

For the walnut vinaigrette:

  • 2 ounces toasted walnuts, cut in half
  • 1 ½ ounces Dijon mustard
  • 3 ounces red wine vinegar
  • 2 ounces water 
  • 7 ounces grapeseed oil
  • 3 ounces walnut oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the salad:

  • 2 heads gem lettuce, leaves removed and cleaned 
  • 4 medjool dates, pitted and sliced in thirds
  • 5 candied walnuts (see above)
  • 2 tablespoons walnut vinaigrette (see above)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

For the candied walnuts:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Toss the walnuts with the egg whites and sugar then place on a sheet tray. Bake for 20 minutes without burning the walnuts. 

For the walnut vinaigrette:

In a blender, combine the walnut halves, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, and water then blend. Continue to blend while slowly adding the grapeseed oil until the mixture reaches a light and creamy consistency. Finish the dressing by adding the walnut oil. Season well with salt and pepper.

For the salad:

Combine the lettuce, dates, and walnuts in a bowl; dress well with the vinaigrette and olive oil. Toss and season well.