Traditionally the European green salad was an hors d‘oeuvre, a light dish to whet the appetite.
Its association with haute cuisine damaged its reputation in the eyes of less sophisticated diners, who could not see the point of eating tasteless lettuce leaves with insipid vinegar and rancid oil.
The French, Italians and Swiss changed this attitude by developing varieties of wild green leaves specifically for the purpose of serving them in a salad dressed with impeccable oils and aromatic vinegars.
Perhaps the best example of this innovation are the leaf clusters once known in English as lamb’s lettuce and now as cornsalad. Rich in vitamins and minerals, these emerald green leaves are enigmatic because they contain omega-3.
The wild valérian variety (mâche or rampon in France, nüsslisalat or feldsalat in Switzerland, valerianella in Italy) was deliberately cultivated to produce a nutty flavour.
Grown throughout the year cornsalad is now an essential ingredient in European green salads.
- 300 g cornsalad, washed, dried
- 45 ml walnut oil
- 30 ml balsamic vinegar
- 15 ml apricot nectar / pear nectar
Combine nectar, oil and vinegar, dress cornsalad, season and serve.