Butter Lettuce with Sheep’s Milk Cheese and Hazelnuts

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The Pyrenees region in southwestern France is noted for its raw sheep’s milk cheeses, most of which are aged, dry, and salty—just right for this delicate, delicious salad. I like creamy, tart-rinded Ossau-Iraty, which contrasts well with the sweet honey and crunchy nuts.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup (4 oz/125 g) hazelnuts
  • 1 large or 2 medium heads butter lettuce
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Champagne vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ lb (125 g) aged sheep’s milk cheese, crumbled

Method

In a dry frying pan over medium-low heat, toast the hazelnuts, stirring, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Let cool, chop coarsely, and set aside.

Separate the leaves from the head(s) of lettuce. Tear the larger leaves into several pieces, but keep the medium and small leaves whole. You should have 4–5 Cups (4–5 oz/125–155 g).

In a large salad bowl, using a fork, mix together the olive oil, vinegars, honey, and salt. Add the lettuce leaves and toss to coat well. Add half of the cheese and half of the hazelnuts and toss well. Top with the remaining cheese and nuts. Serve at once.

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