- 1/4 cup walnut halves
- 1/2 lemon
- 4 cups water
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 pound burdock (2 roots)
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon rice-wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dark or red miso
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil
- Freshly ground pepper
- 10 loosely packed cups torn red lettuces, such as Lolla Rosa, Red Oak and Red Leaf (not radicchio)
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Spread the walnuts in a pie pan and toast for about 6 minutes, or until fragrant.
- Squeeze the lemon into a medium saucepan and add the water, 1 tablespoon of the sugar and a pinch of salt. Peel the burdock under cool running water. Cut it into 1/4-inch slices on a sharp diagonal, adding the slices to the lemon water as you work. Bring the water to a boil and cook the burdock over moderately high heat until al dente, about 30 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly, then stack the slices and cut them into thin matchsticks.
- Return the burdock to the saucepan. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar, 1 teaspoon of the rice-wine vinegar and 1 teaspoon of the miso. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until glossy, about 2 minutes. Transfer the burdock to a plate and let cool.
- In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons of rice-wine vinegar with the remaining 2 teaspoons of miso until dissolved. Whisk in the oil and season with salt and pepper.
- In a large salad bowl, toss the lettuces, walnuts and burdock. Add the dressing, toss again and serve immediately.
This recipe can be prepared through Step 3 up to 1 day ahead.