In addition to making the perfect hamburger, Paul Newman wanted Dressing Room to offer a knockout chopped salad. "Paul thinks the chopped salad has gone awry over the years," Michel Nischan says. "So many restaurants make it now with brown iceberg lettuce and old, bruised vegetables." On Dressing Room's menu, this crunchy tumble of diced vegetables is named "Newman Says 'Use a Spoon' Salad"—reflecting Newman's surprisingly strong opinions about cutlery.
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1/2 cup apple juice
1 cinnamon stick
Three 1-inch strips of lemon zest
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 medium shallot, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup grapeseed or vegetable oil
1 small celery root (1/2 pound), peeled and finely diced
1 medium seedless cucumber, peeled and diced
2 large carrots, finely diced
2 cups red seedless grapes (6 ounces), halved
4 ounces feta cheese, cut into small dice (1 cup)
5 cups mesclun or other mixed greens (5 ounces)
2 romaine lettuce hearts, coarsely chopped
How to Make It
In a small saucepan, bring the apple juice to a boil with the cinnamon stick and the lemon zest. Simmer over moderate heat until the liquid is reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 5 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick and lemon zest and pour the liquid into a small bowl; let cool slightly. Add the cider vinegar and shallot and season with salt and pepper. Whisk in the grapeseed oil until emulsified.
In a large bowl, toss the celery root, cucumber, carrots, grapes, feta cheese, mesclun and romaine. Whisk the apple vinaigrette again and add to the salad, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Serve right away.
The apple vinaigrette can be refrigerated overnight. The vegetables and lettuce can be tossed together and refrigerated for up to 4 hours before tossing with the vinaigrette.
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