Recipe: Red Leaf Lettuce Salad with Balsamic Onions

by Cate on February 2, 2007

The Husband and Nicholas are voracious salad eaters – doesn’t matter what kind of salad it is, or what’s in it, as long as it’s called salad, they’re there. Me, I’m a little pickier. I like salad just fine, but just am a bit more particular about the kinds I like. One of my favorites is Red Leaf Lettuce Salad with Balsamic Onions. It so needs a simpler, shorter name, but don’t let that deter you. It’s a Barefoot Contessa recipe, and I have never met a recipe of hers that I didn’t like.

So what makes this one so special? A couple of things. First, it’s very simple to make, so it has the flexibility to be made on a harried weeknight, or on the weekends when you might have a bit more time. Second, it’s simple enough for an every day dinner, yet special enough to work well when you’re entertaining. And lastly, it transports really well. The secret to doing that (and this works well with any salad really) is this … get a big bowl and put the dressing at the bottom. Put the lettuce on top, and then ziploc the onions and gorgonzola. Just toss it when you get to your destination, and add the toppings. Delish. Now what are you waiting for? Go on and add the ingredients to your grocery list. You won’t be sorry – it’s a keeper.

Until tomorrow…

A year ago today… The Neighbor Wife cooks!

Red Leaf Lettuce Salad with Balsamic Onions
Recipe courtesy of Barefoot Contessa
3 small red onions
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons good balsamic vinegar
1 cup good olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons minced shallots (about 2 large)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup good red wine vinegar
2 heads red-leaf lettuce, washed, spun dry and torn into pieces
Crumbled blue cheese, for topping

Preheat oven to 375. Cut onions in 1/2 and slice 1/4-inch thick, place on a baking sheet and toss with 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until onions are tender. Remove from oven and toss with 2 more tablespoons balsamic vinegar and cool to room temperature. Whisk together shallots, mustard, red wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper in small bowl. While whisking, add 3/4 cup olive oil until emulsified. To assemble, toss enough lettuce for 6 people with dressing, to taste. Place the lettuce on 6 plates and arrange onions on top. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper and crumbled blue cheese. Serve.

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