BUTTER LETTUCE SALAD WITH PINENUTS, POMEGRANATE, AND PARMESAN CHEESE

Andre and I get a box of local produce delivered every Tuesday morning from Farm Fresh to You. It is one of my favorite surprises. I wake up, go to the front door, and am always greeted with a giant box of fruits and vegetables. I quickly pick it up and scurry back inside, eager to discover what ingredients I will be cooking with that week. This Tuesday, we got a huge head of butter lettuce, a beautiful pomegranate, and a fennel bulb, among other goodies. Andre and I decided to put our creativity to use and make a salad using these ingredients from our box. It was a delicious pairing. Delicate butter lettuce complemented the crunch of the toasted pine nuts, and burst of the pomegranates seeds perfectly. This recipe is a keeper and will definitely be at the next dinner party.

BUTTER LETTUCE SALAD WITH TOASTED PINE NUTS, POMEGRANATE SEEDS, AND PARMESAN CHEESE

Serves 4 people

1 large head of Butter lettuce, washed, leaves removed but left whole
3-4 tablespoons raw pine nuts, toasted until slightly golden
1 small pomegranate, seeded
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese freshly grated
2-3 tablespoons Fennel fronds
Maldon Salt
Pepper
Dijon Vinaigrette (recipe to follow)

Place the Butter lettuce leaves in a large bowl. Sprinkle 3/4 of the pomegranate seeds over the lettuce. Add 2 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts. Pour some of the vinaigrette onto the salad and start to mix everything together gently. Coating all the leaves with the dressing. If you need more, add it as you mix but make sure not to over dress. Take a fine grater and generously grate Parmesan cheese over the leaves, turning them occasionally so that they all get some of the cheese on them. Next, add the chopped fennel fronds, some fresh cracked pepper, and a pinch of Maldon salt or a nice sea salt. Gently mix everything together. When plating, try to stack the leaves, getting lots of pomegranate seeds and pine nuts in between each layer. Before serving, sprinkle each salad with the remaining pomegranates and pine nuts, and give it one last grating of cheese. Serve immediately.

DIJON VINAIGRETTE

2 cloves garlic, made into a paste in a mortar and pestle or finely chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 c. champagne vinegar
1 c. good olive oil
1 teaspoon raw organic honey or honey of your choice
Fresh cracked pepper
Maldon salt

Combine the garlic, mustard, and vinegar in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Once all the olive oil has been whisked in, add the honey. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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