Butter Lettuce with Gorgonzola and Dates
Gorgonzola dolce, a cow’s milk cheese from Piedmont and Lombardy in Italy, is milder and creamier than the more commonly available gorgonzola naturale, which is aged for a longer period. If you can’t find it, substitute another mild blue cheese.
For the vinaigrette:
- 3 Tbs. hazelnut oil
- 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 head butter lettuce, leaves torn into large pieces
- 3 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
- 3 oz. (90 g) gorgonzola dolce, crumbled
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts
To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, whisk together the hazelnut oil, vinegar, 1/4 tsp. salt, and a grinding of pepper.
Place the lettuce in a large salad bowl. Scatter the dates, gorgonzola and onion over the lettuce. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss gently to coat thoroughly. Sprinkle the hazelnuts over the top and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Rustic Italian, by Domenica Marchetti (Weldon Owen, 2011)