This is Little Gem Lettuce with Prosciutto and a Caesar-ish vinaigrette and it is about the cutest little lettuce you’ll ever see.
I don’t know how many little lettuces one normally sees in their lifetime, but you can bet that whatever your little lettuce peeping numbers are, [I’m getting uncomfortable] Little Gem will be the cutest. [side note, Little Gem would be my stripper name.]
It looks like a cross between Belgian endive [EHN-dive? awn-DEEV?] and romaine and sports just enough bitterness to balance the prosciutto and tangy Caesar.
You can use store-bought dressing to save the 5 minutes it’ll take you to make your own [but I judge you].
The average American consumes no more than 3 leaves of iceberg lettuce per year [don’t fact check that]. And most of it is consumed as a guilty pre-steak salad at The Outback.
I can’t blame them [I can and do]. Most lettuces tastes like leafy, green grunt. And I’ve tasted my fair share of lettuces which, now that I write it, seems like a weird thing to tell a stranger.
But Little Gem? Ohh… She’s different. She’s feisty, hardy, flavorful, which also seem like odd ways to describe a lettuce to strangers.
2 Anchovy fillets
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp Lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, grated (or finely minced)
1 tsp Lemon zest
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
1/3 to 1/2 c Olive Oil
Mix everything except oil in a small bowl. Then whisk in oil.
Truth be told, I can’t remember the quantities I used for this recipe. I’ll have to remake it and write it down next time. But one of the glories of learning to cook is learning to adjust things based on taste. So…Taste and Adjust [t&a for short]. It should taste tart and salty with a hint of garlic. The mustard is mainly used as an emulsifier, so it doesn’t have to taste mustardy.
2 heads Little Gem lettuce
4 slices prosciutto [pronounced “pro-SHOOT-toe” or just “pro-SHOOT” if you want to be Italian.]
Caesar-ish Vinaigrette [from above]
Quarter each head of Little Gem lettuce lengthwise.
Your knife should be parallel to the length of the head. Cut through the root end of the head [like the video above]. This isn’t rocket science, but I don’t want 2000 people emailing me saying I lead them astray.
Arrange the lettuce quarters on a plate.
Be fancy and arrange them in a circle. Or embrace your anal-retentive side and face them all east [as-salamu alaykum]. Drizzle the vinaigrette on top of the lettuce.
Cut each prosciutto slice in half lengthwise. Put a half slice of prosciutto on top of each lettuce quarter.
I know all this talk of half and quarters may stir up bad memories from first grade fractions sessions. Oh, you didn’t learn that until 3rd grade? I was ahead of my time even then.