This classic green salad with a palm sugar dressing is a modern day classic. Crunchy, fresh and delightfully simple it will make a salad eater out of anyone. Pair it with your favourite steak, chicken, pork or seafood for a delicious side dish that will wow everyone at the table. This is a pushy recipe Dear Reader. YES-a green salad!
On weeknights, I like to do a one dish that incorporates everything at once aka meat or protein with vegetables. My mother used to make three or four dishes (two meats and a couple of vegetable dishes) and while that was nice, I don't really have the urge to do that on a weeknight. However for entertaining and for weekend cooking when time is in more abundance I will make a meat dish with some side dishes.
I often get asked for side dishes to complement my meals if I do a meat main and I have felt like this recipe wasn't fancy or interesting enough but I thought I may as well share it because we eat it so often.
The Lettuce: The start of this salad is crisp cos lettuce leaves but feel free to substitute. Go with what you have whether it be iceberg, rocket, baby spinach, watercress or as exotic as you please with mizuna, lamb's lettuce or baby cavalo nero. There isn't a salad green that this dressing doesn't love. I do have a preference for crispy leaves over softer lettuces like butter lettuce though.
The Dressing: Which brings me to this dressing. It's based on the Rockpool palm sugar dressing and involves two types of vinegars, garlic, a little palm sugar (regular sugar will do) and olive oil and that's about it. Yet there's something so wonderful about this combination that is so much more than a sum of its parts. I remember the first time I tried it many years ago at a media event at Rockpool.
At Rockpool they serve it on a range of leaves including bitter radicchio where it sings too. "OMG what is this dressing!?" I said and the other writers murmured agreement and helped themselves to more. I never liked a lot of vinaigrettes, mainly I suspect from eating unpalatable bottled versions of them as a teenager. I love this dressing so much I have a bottle of it always going in my fridge. I make a new batch every 4-5 days.
The Egg: The other part is a soft centered boiled egg. You can of course leave the egg out but there's something so wholesome about an egg. I'm also going to show you a little trick to make sure that the shells come off your boiled eggs easily. As you may know, the fresher the egg, the harder the shell is to remove.
How To Make Easy To Peel Boiled Eggs: All you have to do is very gently submerge the eggs in boiling water that has 1 teaspoon of bicarb in it and an unlit match stick. The bicarb makes the skins slip off easily while the match stops any egg white from any cracks from ballooning into the water.
I serve this to guests a lot and we're having a lot more people over lately as some friends are still reticent to go out to dinner at restaurants. I love having people over but we've started making our apartment look better and we bought a new rug in our living room. It's nothing really fancy but I'm sort of in love with it. It feels soft under my toes and it's so much nicer than the bare floor boards.
The only thing is now I have a rule - no shoes on the rug! Yes I've now become someone that has to ask people to take their shoes off when they come in. Prior to this I didn't really care but now I'm that crazy rug lady. Mr NQN has so far been very careful making sure not to wear shoes on the rug but a friend came over and she walked on my rug and I was screaming inside. So now I have to pre-warn people about the shoes off rule!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you have a classic salad or salad dressing that you serve with meat mains? And are you a shoes off sort of house?
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella
Classic Green Salad To Go With Every Meal
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by 2 readers
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott, dressing adapted from Rockpool
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Note: I recommend quadrupling the dressing recipe and having some to hand in your fridge. It lasts for 4-5 days
- 2 eggs
- 10 cos lettuce leaves, washed and cut into easy to fork and eat pieces
- 3 grams fresh chives, cut into inch long pieces
- 2.5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar (I didn't have any so I used balsamic condiment or you can use balsamic glaze)
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon palm sugar (white sugar also does the trick in a pinch)
- 1/4 clove garlic, finely grated
Step 1 - Boil your eggs first. Bring a pot of water to boil and add a matchstick and a teaspoon of bicarb. Lower 1-2 eggs and boil for 5 minutes. Remove and place in cold water, changing the water a couple of times and then peel and quarter.
Step 2 - Arrange lettuce leaves on a serving plate. Add the quartered eggs and fresh chives. Drizzle over with the dressing and season with salt and pepper and serve.