by Mollie Katzen
From The Heart of the Plate: Vegetarian Recipes for a New Generation
Romaine and arugula join forces with radicchio and fresh orange sections, and an orange-laced yogurt dressing coats the leaves, allowing a scattering of pistachios to adhere at random. If you choose to form a bed of couscous or extra yogurt underneath each serving, you will be rewarded with an extra layer that both absorbs the delicious trickle-down juices, and also boosts the volume of the dish, herding it into light main-dish terrain.
You can wash and spin the salad leaves (keeping them cold and very dry), prepare the vinaigrette, and section the oranges well ahead of time. Dress and finish the salad immediately before serving.
The tangy vinaigrette, free-standing, will keep very well —for weeks— in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator. Shake well, or stir from the bottom, before using.
1 heaping tablespoon finely minced shallot
1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt (rounded measure)
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup plain yogurt (regular or Greek)
½ pound very fresh radicchio (any type)
A handful of small arugula leaves
About 6 perfect, crisp romaine leaves
2 oranges, sectioned
1/2 cup lightly toasted pistachios
Optional Enhancement : Spread a bed of yogurt and/or couscous on the plate underneath the salad, as a bed to catch the dressing (and to make this more of a light main course).
Make the vinaigrette
Combine the shallot, agave or honey, orange juice, vinegar, and salt in a small bowl, and whisk to thoroughly blend.
Keep whisking as you drizzle in the olive oil, keeping up the action until it is completely incorporated.
Stir/whisk in the yogurt and mix until uniform. Cover and refrigerate until use.
Prepare the salad
Have the cleaned, dried salad leaves in a large-enough bowl. Break them into bite-sized pieces as desired.
Add about 6 tablespoons of the vinaigrette, tossing as you go, to thoroughly coat all the leaves. Add the orange sections toward the end, mixing them in gently so they don’t break.
Sprinkle in the pistachios with the final toss, and serve pronto.