Hearts of Romaine Salad w/a Cider Vinaigrette

This is Bill's and my favorite salad! It has so many interesting and complimentary flavors.  I use a really nice aged balsamic vinegar to garnish this salad. Since it's been aged for 20+ years it's more of a sweet syrup then a normal balsamic vinegar. I bought mine from a fantastic Oil & Vinegar store in Santa Barbara called Il Fustino.

1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 Gala apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1 pound)
  • 5 hearts of romaine lettuce, halved lengthwise
  • 3/4 cup pecans, toasted, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese
  • 20+ years aged balsamic vinegar for drizzling

Whisk first 8 ingredients in small bowl for dressing. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Refrigerate. Rewhisk before using.)

Place sliced onion in medium bowl. Cover with cold water; let stand 30 minutes. Drain well. 

Place 1/3 cup dressing in another medium bowl. Add apples; toss to coat.

Trim off tips of romaine halves, leaving 5-inch lengths. Cut each romaine half lengthwise into 2 wedges. Fan wedges on large platter. Top with red onion slices. Drizzle salad with dressing, then sprinkle with apples, pecans, gorgonzola cheese and garnish with balsamic vinegar.

Recipe Adapted from Bon Appétit


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