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Minted Romaine Salad with Grapes, Ricotta Salata, and Toasted Almonds

by

Total Time: 35

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large head romaine lettuce, leaves separated, washed, and dried
  • 1 small red onion, sliced paper-thin, soaked in ice water 30 minutes, drained, and dried
  • 8 ounces red seedless grapes, washed and cut in half
  • 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
  • 4 ounces ricotta salata, thinly sliced*

Instructions:

Mix vinegar and 2 tablespoons chopped mint with 2 tablespoons water in a small nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat. Let steep 30 minutes, then strain into a medium bowl and discard mint. Add shallots and whisk in the oil in a thin, steady stream. Season with salt and pepper.

Mix romaine leaves in a large bowl with remaining mint, sliced red onions, and grapes. Add enough vinaigrette to coat and toss well (reserve remaining vinaigrette for later use). Taste, then season with salt and pepper if necessary. Arrange on chilled plates, top with the toasted almonds and slices of ricotta salata, and serve.

Additional Notes:

*Ricotta salata, also known as hard ricotta, is a sheep’s milk cheese that resembles a milder, smoother feta. It can increasingly be found in supermarkets, and is available at any gourmet or Italian market.
Updated Monday, April 19th, 2004
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