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Capery Salad

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I don’t know how many times I have flipped over this recipe in Nigella Lawson’s Feast and not thought anything of it.  The reason, probably, is that it’s in the chapter on kids’ food – as something for Mom to eat while her children gobble slime soup and blood ‘n guts potatoes.  (You have to applaud Nigella, she’s creative; she’d be one handy lady to have around on Hallowe’en.)  At any rate, I don’t have kids and that chapter scares me a bit, for multiple reasons, so I’m usually flipping the pages pretty speedily and I never give this salad a second thought.  That all changed yesterday.  I was watching my usual weekend Food Network programming and Nigella happened to be making her Capery Salad.  Capers, pickles, crisp lettuce and a “vinagerette” made with pickle brine.  Oh, my goodness.  Suddenly I was starving, and I couldn’t stop thinking about this salad.  I didn’t have any gherkins on hand, but I did have my favorite garlic dill pickles.  Good enough for Sunday lunch!

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Capery Salad

Romaine hearts (or butter lettuce), torn roughly
1 garlic dill pickle, chopped
1 tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon pickle brine
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt and pepper

  • Fill a dinner-sized bowl with torn Romaine hearts.  Add the chopped pickles and capers.
  • Mix together pickle brine and mustard in a small bowl.  Whisking constantly, add the olive oil in a slow stream to create an emulsion.  Season the dressing with salt and pepper.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.

That’s it!  This is the perfect lunch for one, maybe with a small wedge of cheddar alongside.  If you’re married to someone who doesn’t make gagging noises at the sight of your garlic dill pickles, just double the recipe.  Sharing is good.

Source: Adapted from Feast, by Nigella Lawson

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