Thomas Keller is a huge fan of spontaneous salads and invariably tops them with this creamy vinaigrette. It's inspired by his time at La Rive Restaurant in Catskill, New York; he's been making some version of it for more than 30 years. The salad itself changes constantly, based on what's in the French Laundry garden or at the market; make it with the best fresh vegetables you can get. If you don't want to eat raw egg, the dressing is easily made without the yolk.
Slideshow: More Summer Salads
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 small shallot, minced
1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
12 breakfast radishes
12 ounces Castelfranco or radicchio, leaves torn into large pieces
8 ounces small tomatoes, quartered
1 small red endive, leaves separated
5 ounces baby zucchini, halved
4 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed and halved if large
3 ounces baby carrots, halved lengthwise
1 Persian cucumber, thinly sliced
8 thin asparagus spears, cut into 3-inch pieces
1 ounce baby arugula (2 cups)
Mixed herbs, such as basil and chervil, for garnish
How to Make It
Step 1 Make the vinaigrette
In a food processor, combine the first 5 ingredients with 2 tablespoons of water. With the machine on, drizzle in both oils until incorporated. For a thinner vinaigrette, stir in another 1 to 2 tablespoons of water. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 2 Make the salad
In a bowl, toss all of the ingredients except the herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette. Garnish with herbs and serve with more dressing on the side; reserve the remaining dressing for another salad.
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