First of all, I really wish I could take credit for this garlic parmesan salad dressing. I can’t. Second of all, the ‘M’ in M’s Salad is for Michelle, not Madalaine. Honestly, I don’t even know if she came up with it or if we just called it that because we like her so much and she’s the one who made it for us the first time. Regardless, Michelle (in Kirkwood, MO) thank you for bringing this to our family!
It’s one of our all time favorites and I make it at least once a week. It has mellow garlic over tones and bright lemony accents with nutty toasted pine nuts. It’s brilliant!
There are two ways to take the “bite” out of garlic. Boiling it until it is soft really takes the edge off. I am a huge raw garlic fan, but not everyone is (ahem… my darling husband, Jerry.) The other way is by cutting the garlic’s heart out. If you do both, first cutting out the heart core and then boiling it, you are well insured against stinky garlic breath while keeping all the deep rich garlic flavor intact.
M’s salad is all about the dressing. The salad is simply romaine lettuce, shredded parmesan cheese, and toasted slivered or sliced almonds. Toasted pine nuts are wonderful in this salad too instead of almonds. But be careful, pine nuts can go rancid pretty quickly and (as Jerry puts it) they start tasting like varnish. If you’re not worried about carbs, throw in some croutons. For a different twist try tossing this vinaigrette over a half head of grilled romaine and then sprinkle it with nuts, parmesan, and maybe a wedge of lemon.
For a little something different… grill your lettuce!
I hope you enjoy this salad as much as we do!
Simple Salad with Parmesan Dressing
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 large head of Romain lettuce chopped
- fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- hand emulsion blender blender, or mini food processor
- salad bowl
In a small saucepan of boiling water, boil 3 garlic cloves for 10 minutes.
Put the boiled garlic, 1 fresh garlic clove, parmesan cheese, pepper, salt, mustard, and vinegar in a blender and blend until smooth.
Slowly add the olive oil while blending until completely emulsified.
Put the chopped lettuce in the salad bowl and add garlic dressing. Mix well.
Top with toasted pine nuts* and cheese.
*To toast pine nuts - in a dry pan, cover the bottom in a small skillet and heat over medium heat. Do not leave this unattended. It will burn fast!!! Shake the pan often and remove from heat as soon as they start to turn golden brown.