Star chef Nancy Silverton, a huge salad fan, makes this great recipe with tender Bibb lettuce and an array of tasty ingredients: smoky bacon, Gorgonzola cheese, toasted hazelnuts and sweet Concord grapes.
Slideshow: Main Course Salads
6 slices of thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1 tablespoon hazelnut or canola oil
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup minced shallots
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Light green leaves from 2 small heads of Bibb lettuce
1/2 cup Concord grapes, halved and seeded
4 ounces Gorgonzola dolce, crumbled
Snipped chives, for garnish
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 325°. On a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, bake the bacon for about 17 minutes, turning once, until browned but still chewy. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain, then cut into 1-inch pieces. Leave the oven on.
Meanwhile, spread the hazelnuts in a pie plate and bake for about 12 minutes, until lightly browned and the skins start to crack. Transfer the hazelnuts to a clean kitchen towel and rub them together to remove the skins; let cool. Coarsely chop the hazelnuts and transfer to a small bowl. Stir in the hazelnut oil and season with salt and pepper.
In a medium bowl, whisk the sherry vinegar with the minced shallots, lemon juice and sugar. Gradually whisk in the olive oil until incorporated. Season the shallot vinaigrette with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, toss the lettuce leaves with 1/4 cup of the shallot vinaigrette and season lightly with salt and pepper. On a serving platter or plates, layer the lettuce leaves with the bacon pieces, chopped hazelnuts, Concord grapes and Gorgonzola dolce. Garnish with snipped chives and serve, passing the remaining shallot vinaigrette at the table.
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