The Dish | Little Gem Salad with Lemon Cream and Hazelnuts

I just got back from a girls’ weekend at Bodega Bay. As I am @saladsaresuperawesome, I offered to make a salad to go with the host’s citrus chicken dish she was making. This salad fit the bill and the girls loved it (great for kids too). It’s the perfect combination of creamy, zesty and crunchy. (Check out more of my salads @saladsaresuperawesome.)

  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup blanched hazelnuts
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 6 heads of Little Gems (about 1 pound total), cores removed, leaves separated
  • 4 small carrots (about 4 ounces), scrubbed, thinly sliced lengthwise on a mandoline
  • ½ cup mint leaves
  • 1½ ounces SarVecchio or Parmesan
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Combine garlic, cream, and ½ tsp. pepper in a small bowl; season with salt. Cover and chill 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°. Toast hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Let cool before chopping coarsely.
  • Strain cream mixture into a large bowl and add oil. Whip to soft peaks, then whisk in 1 Tbsp. lemon juice. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
  • Toss lettuce, carrots, mint, and half of hazelnuts with remaining 1 Tbsp. lemon juice in another large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add a few dollops of lemon cream and gently toss to coat.
  • Spoon remaining lemon cream onto a platter and top with salad. Shave cheese over salad and top with cracked pepper, sea salt, and remaining hazelnuts.

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