April 20, 2017
Food52’s Simple Braised French Salad
Try this recipe for Petits Pois À La Française Redux from the cookbook Food 52: Mighty Salads.
Petits pois à la française is classically a simple braise of peas, lettuce, and onions. But Aleksandra Mojsilovic, a scientist by day and James Beard Award–nominated blogger by night, zhooshed it into this, a salad other salads aspire to be: understated at first but full of splendor and temptation. Charred lettuce, peas, and scallions. Caramelized bacon. A luxurious dressing of crème fraîche, buttermilk, mayonnaise, and lemon. You could serve the scallions and lettuce whole for cutting at the table and add some soft-boiled eggs. Any which way, you’ll also want a glass of Chenin Blanc and the sun, setting.
Yield: Serves 4
- Heat the oven to 350°F. Arrange the bacon slices in a single layer on a baking sheet, then sprinkle with sugar and paprika. Bake until caramelized, about 25 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet, then cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces.
- To make the dressing, stir together all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
- Rinse the scallions and romaine and pat dry. Discard the outer romaine leaves. Cut the romaine hearts in half lengthwise, if you like, keeping the roots intact so they hold together.
- Heat the broiler with an oven rack 4 to 5 inches from the flame.
- Spread the peas in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Toss with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil, stirring occasionally, until the peas are lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the peas to a small bowl.
- Arrange the scallions in a single layer on the same baking sheet. Lightly brush with olive oil, season with salt, and broil until lightly charred, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the scallions to a cutting board and let cool for 2 to 3 minutes. Cut the scallions into 3⁄4-inch segments.
- Arrange the romaine in a single layer on the same baking sheet. Lightly brush with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and broil, turning occasionally, until lightly browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Transfer the romaine to a cutting board and let cool for a few minutes. Cut the romaine into 1-inch strips. Discard the romaine roots.
- In a large bowl, toss together the peas, scallions, romaine, and bacon. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Serve immediately.