Sweet Gem Lettuce Salad With Bufala Mozzarella Recipe

Apr 1, 2013 4:01 pm

Tender lettuce and creamy cheese meet in a salad

On our recent trip to Chef Fest — Made In America, a celebrity chef-studded food and cooking event at Hawaii's Four Seasons Resort Hualalei, we learned to make this salad, starring none other than rich, milky, creamy buffalo mozzarella (mozzarella di bufala) at a kitchen demo with Nancy Silverton and Matt Molina of LA's Osteria Mozza.

Sweet gem is a mild, tender baby lettuce like a mini-head of Bibb or butter. Massaging the dressing gently into the leaves before plating ensures every leaf gets a good dose, and make sure you allow the mozzarella to come to room temperature before serving. 

Adding Greek yogurt to a tangy vinaigrette makes for a light, creamy salad dressing.
Adding Greek yogurt to a tangy vinaigrette makes for a light, creamy salad dressing.
 
Servings: 4

Ingredients

For the lemon-yogurt vinaigrette
1/4 cup shallots, minced
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
For the salad
1 cup Persian or English cucumbers, thinly sliced
4 small heads sweet gem lettuce
1 ounce buffalo mozzarella
extra-virgin olive oil, to garnish
Directions: 

For the dressing:

  1. Combine the shallots, half the lemon juice, vinegar and salt in a small bowl. Set the bowl aside for 5-10 minutes to marinate the shallots.
  2. Add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly to combine. Stir in the pepper. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or pepper, if desired. 
  3. Transfer 1/2 cup of the dressing to a small bowl and save 1/2 cup in an airtight container in the fridge for another use.
  4. Add the Greek yogurt and other half of the lemon juice to the bowl with the dressing, whisk and set aside.

For the salad:

  1. Place the cucumbers in a bowl and add a pinch of salt and 1 ounce of the vinaigrette. Mix thoroughly, then divide and arrange on the bottom of four salad plates.
  2. Cut the lettuce into quarters with the root trimmed off and place in a bowl. Add a tablespoon of the vinaigrette and work it into the leaves using your hands. Plate the quarters on top of the cucumbers.
  3. Slice mozzarella in quarters and place in front of the lettuce on each place. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and serve.

More fancy salad recipes on Food Republic:

Level of Difficulty: 
Easy
Prep Time: 
40 minutes
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