Sucrine they are called here in France, I guess because they have a sweetness to them.
These tightly packed little tornadoes are known as baby gem lettuce in the UK.
They have an agreeable crunchiness that lends itself to strong contrasts–hence the addition of anchovy.
Anchovies are usually a background sound in cooking but here they solo occasionally. I love ’em–but they are not to everyone’s taste.
I ordered this a couple of days ago in our new favorite restaurant–Chez Germaine in Gaillac.
A pre-movie (Whiplash) lunch with Donald Douglas (aka Cap’n McNeil in Poldark!) and Emma Temple, his partner.
This place is the French version of a tapas bar–warm and convivial–and the food comes in small quantities on individual plates. I ordered a plate of baby squid persillade (in parsley and garlic oil) and this salad. Perfect with a glass of the local red wine (Gaillac).
The combination of the crispness of the lettuce and creaminess of the goat’s cheese with the occasional bite of anchovy had everyone dipping in!
Meredith–not too sure about anchovies showing up so brazenly–suggested substituting roasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds–good idea.
You could add them anyway–but I like the salad’s simplicity.
2 sucrine (baby gem) lettuces–deconstructed and sliced up
half a goat’s cheese “log”–or other shapes–pulled apart to spread its creaminess
3 or 4 anchovy fillets–sliced into smaller pieces
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic–pulped in a mortar with a pinch of salt
salt and pepper
Add the lettuce to a favorite bowl.
Add the cheese and the anchovy pieces.
Make the vinaigrette
Add the wine vinegar to the garlic in the mortar and whisk.
Add the olive oil and whisk it in to make the vinaigrette.
Pour it over the contents of the bowl.
Turn everything over carefully until the little lettuce gleams with pride.