Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Recipe for Ottolenghi's Perfect Lettuce Salad with Radicchio, Radishes, Tomatoes, and Capers

Ottolenghi's Perfect Lettuce Salad with Radicchio, Radishes, Tomatoes, and Capers
This salad by London's Yotam Ottolenghi has the perfect combination of flavors.

(To continue on with A Month of Daily Phase One Recipes, this perfectly brilliant combination of flavors in a side salad by Ottolenghi. Any time you're doing Phase One and cooking for guests, this interesting salad combination is sure to impress!)

Yotam Ottolenghi is a brilliantly creative London food personality who's famous for his simple-but-profound flavor combinations.   I wasn't sure what to expect when I ordered Ottolenghi: The Cookbook a few years ago, but I was captivated by his food.  Then after waiting months while it was on back-order, I recently got his second book, Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London's Ottolenghi.   Within minutes of opening the book, I knew I wanted to make this salad.

Ottolenghi's Lettuce Salad recipe combines several kind of lettuce, radicchio, radishes, tomatoes, green onions, and capers, and I think those flavors go perfectly with the lemony vinaigrette he uses.  I've never seen the "semi-dried" tomatoes the recipe asks for so I used fresh cherry tomatoes cut in half, and I also increased the amount of capers and added a tiny dash of caper brine to the dressing.  Those minor changes only made the salad a little more perfect for my taste, and this is a salad I'll be making over and over.   Admitttedly, some of the ingredients are a little more pricey than I usually choose for salad, but even if you don't want to splurge on things like butter lettuce or radicchio and decide to modify the recipe even more, please don't skip the radishes or capers, which are two of the things that I love most about this salad. 

Start with one small head of butter lettuce, torn apart, washed, and spun dry.

Ottolenghi specified "curly lettuce" for the second type.  I used green leaf, but next time I might choose red leaf.

I thought the vibrant color and flavor of radicchio was a great addition to the salad.

Use a generous amount of green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal.

I like radishes cut in half-moon shapes instead of the circles Ottolenghi used.

I used a cup of cherry tomatoes, cut in half, but more tomatoes would also be good.  (Thanks to a reader named Robyn who helped me realize that what Ottolenghi calls "semi-dried tomatoes" are Slow Roasted Tomatoes.  When I roast tomatoes in the fall I'd like to try the salad with those.)

Stir together crushed garlic, fresh lemon juice, and a dash of caper brine, then whisk in olive oil and grapeseed oil to make the dressing.

Toss together all the fresh vegetables.

I was only making salad for two people, so I put half in a bowl and tossed with half the dressing, saving the rest for another meal.

And top each serving of salad with a generous spoonful of capers.


Ottolenghi's Perfect Lettuce Salad with Radicchio, Radishes, Tomatoes, and Capers
(Makes 4 generous salads, recipe adapted very slightly from Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London's Ottolenghi.)

Salad Ingredients:
1 small head butter lettuce, torn, washed, and spun dry
1/2 head green or red leaf lettuce, torn, washed, and spun dry
1 small head radicchio, core removed and thinly sliced
3 green onions, thinly sliced on an angle
1 bunch radishes, cleaned and cut into half-moon slices
1 cup (or more) cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2-3 T capers

Dressing Ingredients:
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 1/2 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp. caper brine
1 1/2 T olive oil
1 1/2 T grapeseed oil
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:
Tear the lettuces, wash and spin dry or dry with paper towels.  Slice the radicchio, green onions, and radishes, and cut tomatoes in half.  Put all salad vegetables into a bowl big enough to toss the salad in.  Measure out capers into a small bowl.  (You can rinse the capers if desired, but I didn't.)

Stir together the crushed garlic, lemon juice, and caper brine, then whisk in the olive oil and grapeseed oil a little at a time until the dressing is well-emulsified.  Add salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.

Toss the salad with the dressing so all ingredients are lightly coated with dressing.  Divide among four individual salad bowls and top each serving with a generous spoonful of capers.

If you don't need four servings of salad, I would prepare the lettuce, radicchio, green onions, and radishes, then cut only enough tomatoes for the amount you need.  The undressed salad minus tomatoes should keep in the refrigerator for several days.


South Beach Suggestions:
Every ingredient in this salad is perfect for all phases of the South Beach Diet or any type of low-glycemic eating plan.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. 

More Great Salad Ideas with Lettuce:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Mediterranean Salad with Hummus Dressing from Kalyn's Kitchen
Fattoush (Lebanese Crumbled Bread Salad with Sumac and Pita Chips) from Kalyn's Kitchen
Miner's Lettuce Salad from WrightFood
Ridiculously Easy Grilled Romaine Salad from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Spring Lettuce Salad with Roasted Asparagus from Recipe Girl
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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35 comments:

Kim Bee said...

Beautiful salad. Love the way it pops off the screen.

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

What a great combination. I am a huge fan of capers, so will def need to try this out. Great idea Kalyn :)

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

Just went back and read the post !? Yotam Ottolenghi is brilliant!!

Kalyn said...

Kim, thanks. I did like how that photo turned out.

Mary, I am intrigued by the flavors he combines. Really like both his books; so interesting!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I love Ottolenghi's first book (thank you!), and look forward to checking out the new one. If this salad is typical, I'm sure I'll find wonderful recipes there. I'm not wildly fond of capers, but I can see how they really make this salad special.

Robyn said...

Yotam Ottolenghi fan here too! Not only his books but his new column in the "The Guardian" website's Life and Style section is a favourite. (Also check out the archives of his earlier column on the same website which was titled "The New Vegetarian")

As for semi-dried tomatoes, when your tomato plants are laden how about making some yourself. As you understandably prefer no links in the comments, can I suggest you search "semi-dried tomatoes che tibby" to find the procedure I use, with clear step by step photos.

Regards, Robyn

Kalyn said...

Lydia, Plenty is all vegetarian recipes, and the measurements are not in metrics which is making it easier for me to use. But I love both the books.

Robyn, thank you for that! Those are what we call "slow-roasted" tomatoes here. I can imagine they'd be great in this salad.

Maris(In Good Taste) said...

An absolutely perfect salad and I love the dressing. Capers=yum!

Aine @ Something to Chew Over said...

Capers are a great addition to a salad and I bet they work really well in contrast with the radishes.

Looking forward to trying this combo!

Joanne said...

Given how many lettuce heads and radishes I've been getting in my CSA (and how often I pore over Plenty), I wonder why I haven't made this yet! Plus it has capers...so good.

janet @ the taste space said...

I don't link radishes, but I am sure it would be great even without them. Gotta love the capers, though, which is definitely a splurge ingredients for me. :)

Cooking Creation said...

Mmm! Love the addition of capers. This salad looks perfect!

Kalyn said...

I love the combination of capers and radishes in this, but even if you don't like radishes I think the capers are a great addition. This has made me realize that one of my favorite restaurant salads in Salt Lake has capers in the dressing!

Mary said...

Kalyn, this is a gorgeous looking salad. With those ingredients it has to be a surefire winner. I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend. Blessings...Mary

FabFrugalFood said...

Sometimes simplicity is the ultimate perfection. Cheers!

Donna

Diana said...

Gorgeous! And thanks for the cookbook recommendation. I'll have to look for it next time I'm in a bookstore, if they have it.

Terri {that's some good cookin'} said...

This is an absolutely gorgeous salad. I love the photos. By the way, you are giving me courage to gently nudge my hubby's eating towards healthier choices. If I make good food and it just so happens to also be really good for him, then everyone wins. Thanks for your blog. It inspires me. One more thing...My fam bought me a copy of One Big Table this past Christmas. Low and behold you're in it!

Kalyn said...

Mary, happy holidays to you too!

Donna, agreed. I am really big on simple!

Diana, I love the book. It is interesting combinations of ingredients but mostly simple preparation methods.

Teri, love how you are inspiring your husband to eat healthier food. Will have to check out One Big Table; I had no idea I was in the book.

Charissa said...

I love the idea of capers in a salad...I just got something new in the fridge that I'm keen on...it's like a pickled mushroom thing, similar to the caper marinade...but it's not quite pickled...

It's really yummy, but now I want to try this fun little addition! Thanks for sharing! :)

Kalyn said...

Charissa, that sounds good to me. I love all kinds of vinegary pickled flavors!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Hi I found your link on facebook .. I have been to the Ottolenghi restaurant in London ..fabulous salads :-)

aricooks said...

Nice! We are in the midst of caper-picking season here in Israel, so perfect timing to find this recipe.

Kalyn said...

Anne, I would LOVE to go there. Someday for sure I must!

Ari, how fun picking capers. I've never seen the plant growing, but oh how I love them!

Barbara said...

This salad looks delicious. I have both Ottolenghi books and love them.

Kalyn said...

Barbara, doesn't he have the most wonderful ideas for flavor combinations. I love the books too.

bakerbynature said...

I love the unique flavors in this salad, and it would definitely fit in with my recent caper obsession.

Kalyn said...

I'm having a caper obsession here too!

Cookin' Canuck said...

What a gorgeous salad! Those colors (and the addictive brine of capers) makes me want to dive right in.

Tobie said...

Wait til you try Ottolengh's newest book "Jerusalem".
Not only are the photo's wonderful but so are the recipes. And it's a great read too!

Kalyn Denny said...

Thanks Dara, me too.

Tobie I have that book now as well, and agree it's great!

Abbe said...

Love this man! Was in Jerusalem last January and just couldn't wait for this book. Now I want the others, too! Have been cooking from it a lot! Thanks for a great salad.

Monica Shaw said...

I made this recipe recently with pomegranate instead of tomato. Superb - and seasonal!

Kalyn Denny said...

Monica, love the sound of pomegranate in this salad!

Donna said...

"Simple but profound flavor combinations" describes YOU. Also "colorful."

Kalyn Denny said...

Donna, you are just too sweet! Missed you at lunch!

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