Adventures of the Heart
Mary Zalmanek
Salads: Dijon Pine Nut Salad

The delicate taste and texture of butter lettuce is a delicious compliment to the tangy Dijon dressing and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. 


This will make enough salad dressing for six people.  Use what you need to lightly dress the lettuce just before serving.  The rest of the dressing will keep in the refrigerator or a week or so.


Serves 6


1/4 cup pine nuts

3 cloves garlic

1 cup water

1/8 tsp salt

1 tsp Dijon mustard

Freshly ground black pepper to taste 

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tbsp white vinegar

1 head butter or green Bibb lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces

1/4 cup (or less) shaved or shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese


Toast pine nuts in toaster oven or under broiler until golden brown.  Watch carefully as they can burn easily.  Set aside.


In small saucepan, boil garlic cloves in water for 10 minutes.  Remove garlic and place in small bowl with salt.  Using a fork, mash into a paste. Stir in mustard, vinegar and pepper.  Whisk in olive oil.  Set aside until ready to serve. 


Place lettuce in salad bowl. Just before serving, whisk salad dressing one more time.  Pour dressing over lettuce and toss.  


Use a vegetable peeler to shave a wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese into strips, or use shredded cheese. 


For best presentation, place dressed lettuce on salad plates. Arrange shaved cheese or sprinkle shredded cheese on lettuce. Sprinkle with pine nuts.  


If you prefer to serve the salad family style in a large bowl, sprinkle cheese and nuts on the salad in the serving bowl.