Monday, 11 June 2012


There's a Portuguese place next to my office. I can see it from my work window. I stare at it longingly at times. Not because of the great Shish Kabob Special at lunch hour, the bacalhau or even the Bitoque with fried egg. No, not for these reasons do I stare longingly. It isn't even the wine, the great look of the place nor the patio. It's all in the name of their salad. I've got it! I cracked to code, I've broken down their recipe item by item, lettuce by lettuce. I know now that I don't have to pay what I do to take one home with me after work, as I often have in the past. Let me share this with you and I think you will agree it's simple yet brilliant.

The Salad

Green Leaf Lettuce & Read Leaf Lettuce Ratio 2:1
English Cucumber - 1 peeled (very important)
Dried Cranberries - 1 handful
Onion - Red is best but white will do just as well
Kosher Salt - pinch
Black Pepper - Fresh cracked
Ripe Tomatoes - Do not use Roma's
Coriander - Rough chopped

Use a salad spinner, they are a godsend..have had an OXO good grips one since culinary school and it has never failed me.
Tear your lettuce do not cut it.
The cucumber must be peeled, I don't know why it just tastes better in this salad.
Rinse the onion under cold water before you add them to the salad. It helps with the pungency of the onion.
I love the cranberries, it adds a nice sweetness to the salad.
Always season your salads even if you add dressing. 

Lemon White Wine Vinaigrette

Quality Olive Oil 
White Wine Vinegar
White Wine
Lemon 1 juiced
Garlic 1 clove
Kosher Salt
White pepper

Here's another recipe that you can use this dressing. 


Make sure that in all salad dressings use the ratio of 2 - 3 parts oil to 1 part flavourings. You can't go wrong. I personally like the ratio 2 - 1 for my dressings.
So 2 parts good quality fruity olive oil to 1 part White wine vinegar & juice of 1 lemon
Splash of White Wine, add garlic clove
Using a hand blender on high for 30 seconds or less puree the mixture
Add the honey, pepper and salt to taste.

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