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Author Notes: We recently enjoyed a birthday dinner at Hen of the Wood, a very good restaurant in Burlington, Vermont. On the menu was a salad that sounded so appealing that we broke our rule of sharing a salad so we could each enjoy a full portion. We were attracted by the prospect of fresh radishes and Bayley Hazen Blue, a cheese from Jasper Hill. The ingredients were so simple, yet the salad was satisfying and fresh tasting. This is my version, which I am happy to say is pretty close to the original. —Bevi
For the Vinaigrette
- juice of one lemon
- olive oil - 2x the quantity of lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Salad
- 2 heads butter or gem lettuce
- 1 bunch fresh radishes, slice very thinly
- 1/2 large English cucumber, skin on, sliced very thinly
- 2 to 3 ounces Bayley Hazen Blue Cheese, or another great blue, crumbled
- 4 rashers good bacon, crumbled
- Mix the ingredients for the vinaigrette and set aside.
- Carefully wash and dry the lettuce. Tear into manageable pieces for eating - not too large and not too small. Place in a good sized mixing bowl.
- Carefully mix in the radishes, cukes, and crumbled blue cheese into the lettuce, being careful not to crush the lettuce. NOTE: If you like your salad chilled - and this salad is quite good that way with colder radishes and cukes adding to their crispness - mix the vegetables without the blue cheese and stick in the fridge for 15 to 30 minutes to get a cold edge to the salad. Then take the cold salad out just prior to serving and mix in the crumbled cheese. Proceed with the recipe.
- Assemble 4 salad plates. Plate the lettuce mixture in equal portions onto the plates. Sprinkle equal amounts of the crumbled bacon on top of each serving.
- Spoon 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette on top of each portion, but do not mix into the salads.
- NB: You can omit the bacon if you want a vegetarian salad, but the bacon is a key flavor component!