Baby Head Lettuce Salad with Caramelized California Avocados

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Serves: 6

As needed Roquefort Herb Vinaigrette (recipe follows) As needed Bacon Confit (recipe follows) 12 heads sweet/mild baby lettuces (Lola Rossa, Green Leaf, Bibb, etc.), cleaned, separated into leaves 2 each large Fresh California Avocados*, peeled, seeded, cut into 6 wedges As needed Granulated sugar as needed As needed Oil as needed Roquefort Herb Vinaigrette (Yield: 3 cups) 1 shallot 1 oz. wholegrain mustard 2 oz. maple syrup 4 oz. golden balsamic vinegar 1 tsp. sea salt 1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper 4 oz. mild extra virgin olive oil 4 oz. rice bran or canola oil 1 Tbsp. fresh tarragon, chopped 1 Tbsp. fresh marjoram, chopped 4 oz. Roquefort cheese, crumbled Bacon Confit 1 lb. piece of Applewood-smoked slab bacon, cut 1" thick, rind removed

Roquefort Herb Vinaigrette:

  1. Combine the shallot, mustard, maple syrup, golden balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper in a blender. Blend until shallot is finely chopped. Slowly add the oils in a thin stream to emulsify. Transfer to a bowl and add the herbs and cheese and whisk lightly to combine, leaving chunks of cheese.

Bacon Confit:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the bacon into a pan that is slightly larger than the bacon. Roast the bacon fat side up for 2-3 hours until bacon is tender and golden brown. It should be totally caramelized. Drain on paper towels. Cut into 1/4-inch lardons. Reserve at room temperature if using right away, otherwise refrigerate until needed. Bring to room temperature before use.
  2. Alternatively, vacuum pack the bacon and cook in a thermal bath at 185 degrees for 24 hours. Cool, and finish at 400 degrees for 10 minutes until brown. Continue as directed above.


  1. Place the lettuce leaves in a large bowl and dress lightly. Set aside.
  2. Dust the cut sides of the avocado slices with the granulated sugar. Heat a non-stick pan with a small amount of oil over medium heat. Sauté the avocado slices until the sugar is caramelized.

To Assemble:

  1. Divide the lettuce among 6 chilled plates. Garnish each with several lardons of Bacon Confit, and 2 slices of the caramelized avocado. Drizzle with dressing. Serve.

* A large Fresh California Avocado weighs about 8 oz.

*Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

Did You Know?

There are hundreds of avocado varieties grown in California, and to avoid injury you should never cut an avocado while holding it your hand.

As with all fruits and vegetables, wash avocados before cutting. Check out our tips for how to choose and use California Avocados


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