a sunny southern salad
This salad was born out of using what is seasonally available during the steamy summers in Charleston. When I was an apprentice at Nathalie Dupree's, she put cheese straws in the salad to replace croutons. That way, she didn't need to fire up the stove or the oven to make croutons during a hot day. It inspired me to try to not let any ingredients go to waste. Sometimes, the most funny combinations make for the most delicious salads.
Southern Salad- dressing adapted from Nathalie Dupree
Vidalia dressing recipe:
1⁄2 Vidalia onion, peeled and quartered
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey- I recommend honey from Apis Mercantile
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1⁄2 cup oil- I use 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil and 1⁄4 cup vegetable or canola oil, I recommend Olinda Olive Oil
Freshly ground black pepper
In a blender or food processor (if using a processor, use the metal blade), pulse the onion until
Add the vinegar, honey, mustard, and puree until thoroughly combined.
Add oil, preferably in a slow stream until the mixture is emulsified.
You will see the mixture turn lighter in color as it thickens.
Taste, and add salt and pepper to season.
2 heads of butter or bibb lettuce, I recommend Vertical Roots. Any type of salad greens will do.
¼ to ½ cup grated cheese, to taste, perhaps manchego or Parmesan
Market vegetables, perhaps thinly sliced okra, corn, bell peppers
Market fruits, perhaps peaches, plums or figs
½ to ¼ cup cornbread breadcrumbs, to taste, any leftover bread or cheese straws
Basil, parsley or lemon balm, chopped, to taste
For salad: fold together ingredients with the dressing. Serve immediately.