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Simple Green Salad Seasoned with a Chapon*

Recipe for May 13, 2007

Early season lettuce asks us to be subtle and practiced in our preparation.  Using a chapon, which is a stale heel of French bread rubbed with garlic, is one way to subtlety flavor a salad.

  • 1 heel stale French bread*
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled, root end trimmed
  • 2 heads lettuce, or equivalent lettuce mix, washed, gently dried and torn into bite size pieces*
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sherry vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Rub cut end of garlic all over the stale heel of French bread until bread feels juicy from the garlic.  This is the chapon.

Put lettuce leaves and chapon in large, deep salad bowl.  Sprinkle with olive oil.  Toss gently.  Taste.  Add vinegar, a dash of salt, and several grinds of pepper.  Toss gently.  Taste.   Continue to add olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper until the lettuce is lightly, but evenly, coated with the oil and vinegar. 

Remove chapon.  Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Some tricks of the trade in preparing a salad:

Use a large, deep salad bowl.
Wash lettuce carefully, dry thoroughly.
Know what you like.
Splurge on a high quality extra virgin olive oil and vinegar.
Apply oil and vinegar to your salad, drop by drop, bit by bit.
Toss gently. 
Taste as you go.
Recognize what you like.
A simple green salad relies on your tastes.
Some days smooth, others tart.
Experiment.

 

*Available at the Old Cheney Road Farmers’ Market

Recipe courtesy of the Carrboro Farmers’ Market – Carrboro, North Carolina