I am addicted to little gem lettuce — it’s kind of like a miniature romaine. Lunardi’s, one of my favorite grocery stores, carries it, and it’s the only place I can find it except for the farmer’s market occasionally. This is a pretty and delicious salad — my new fave.
1 small shallot
1 1/2 tablespoons Moscatel vinegar
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon creme fraiche
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
Mince the shallot, then place in a medium bowl, and add the Moscatel vinegar. Allow to macerate for about 10 minutes.
Add the buttermilk and creme fraiche and stir. Whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
1 head of little gem lettuce
2 tablespoons toasted breadcrumbs
2 leaves of basil, chopped
1 radish, thinly sliced
8 thin slices of fennel (cut the bulb in half, lengthwise, then slice into half moons)
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground pepper
In another bowl, combine the gem lettuce, toasted bread crumbs, basil, radish and fennel. Whisk the vinaigrette, then pour over the salad. Toss to coat the salad evenly.
To plate, stack the leaves from largest to smallest, making sure to include the vegetables and basil.
Recipe by Brian Huston