Baby Head Lettuce Salad with Caramelized California Avocados
|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)|
|4||oz.||golden balsamic vinegar|
|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|
|1||lb.||piece of Applewood-smoked slab bacon, cut 1" thick, rind removed|
As with all fruits and vegetables, wash avocados before cutting. Check out our tips for how to choose and use California Avocados
Roquefort Herb Vinaigrette:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Place the lettuce leaves in a large bowl and dress lightly. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.