16 February 2011
Salad Facon Maman Blanc
This is one of those delicious salads that are served simply as a matter of course in French provincial restaurants. Raymond Blanc is miraculously self taught, but his mother and grandmother, with their in-built culinary excellence, have served as inspiration at the very least. Whisk together 1 tblpsn tarragon wine vinegar, with 3 tblspns grapeseed or peanut oil and one of hazelnut oil, plus salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour the dressing into a large bowl. Add plenty of torn lettuce of different varieties if possible. Scatter over grated Gruyere, slivers of ham, sliced mushrooms, and a handful of toasted hazelnuts that you have lightly crushed. Toast hazelnuts in the oven, watching like a hawk, until just golden, then crush in a pestle and mortar. You could make this salad just with the cheese and nuts and leave out the ham. Toss and serve immediately.