Ciao'd after (organically) spraying my greens garden because somebody (pointing to you, squirrel) is enjoying the kale and chard a bit too much.
Gorgonzola and walnuts play beautifully in this classic salad that pairs deliciously with a main course of beef. The salad also serves admirably as a light lunch. In either case, don't forgot the crusty bread. Marcella Hazan's touch manifests itself in the perfectly balanced vinaigrette that dresses the salad.
Serves 6 to 8
1 to 2 heads butter lettuce, about 1 pound
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil*
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 pound Gorgonzola cheese
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnut
2 tablespoons whole fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley leaves
In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, shallot, salt, and a few grindings of pepper. Add half the Gorgonzola, and mash it well with a fork.
Add half the walnuts, all the lettuce, and toss thoroughly. Taste and correct the seasoning.
Transfer to a bowl. Top with the remaining half of the Gorgonzola, cut into small pieces, and the rest of the chopped walnuts. Garnish with the parsley. Recipe adapted from More Classic Italian Cooking, Marcella Hazan, Alfred A. Knopf, 1978.
*Because the Gorgonzola adds a robust richness, you would do well to use a grassy, green olive oil. I am partial to Lucero Taggiasca olive oil. It's bold but green (think a bit of spice with artichoke aroma) so it can hold its own with the cheese. Note: this special olive oil does not have broad distribution so chances are you will need to order it online. It's worth the effort for its taste and affordability.