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Author Notes: Every summer we rent a house on the Florida panhandle and we all---my parents, brother, sisters, our spouses and kids -- get together there. This year we were 17. The house is huge with a great working kitchen, and we have dinner at home together nearly every night. We all love to cook. I make the salad. We have some variation on this salad nearly every night. For some of us, lettuce is the only vegetable we’ll eat (not counting tater tots), and for others the leftovers are hoarded for lunch the next day. I make enough for all of us--it scales down easily.
Serves 17 as side salad with dinner
- 2 large heads romaine, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 2 cups arugula, roughly chopped
- 1 small head radicchio, torn into small pieces
- 2 small heads endive, split in half lengthwise and sliced
- 1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced
- 2 large handfuls of fresh herbs, chopped (basil, parsley, thyme, oregano, mint, fennel fronds--whatever you can get)--about one cup of chopped herbs
- 1 10-oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, sliced thin
- 1 cup dried cherries (or golden raisins if you can’t find cherries), rough chopped
- 1 cup toasted chopped pecans (or pine nuts, especially if you’re using raisins)
- 1/2 teaspoon (or to taste) red pepper flakes
- 1/4-1/3 cup olive oil
- 2-4 tablespoons red wine vinegar (to taste)
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup finely grated parmesan or romano cheese as desired (optional)
- In a very large bowl, combine the romaine, arugula, radicchio, endive, fennel and herbs together till well mixed. Add the artichoke hearts, cherries and pecans, and fold into the salad. Pour in ~1/4 cup olive oil and 2 tablespoons vinegar and stir in the red pepper flakes. Gently toss the salad until the flavors are fully blended. (Some of us aren't cheese eaters, so we either leave it out and add it at the table, or separate theirs out and then add it. Your choice.) Taste and adjust seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed. (You may need more oil and vinegar; we like our salad lightly dressed.)
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Lettuce