One of my culinary heroes, chef Joel Robuchon, was propelled to fame by the tiny portions of an herb salad he serves all his guests at his restaurants in France. The salad is special because it uses herbs, not in the dressing or as a garnish, but as the foundation of the salad. Below is a salad inspired by Mr. Robuchon that is intense, flavorful and decadent. Every bite is a delight worth savoring. I had previously been hesitant to make this salad because, if you are buying all the herbs at the market, it can be expensive. Luckily enough, my doctor knows I enjoy cooking and brought me most of the herbs, fresh from her garden, that I needed.
1 oz. arugula
1/2 oz. frisee or curly endive, torn into natural pieces
1/2 oz. romaine, torn into small pieces
1/2 oz. spring mix or mesclun
1/2 head butter lettuce
1/2 cup basil leaves, torn into small pieces if large
1/2 cup parsley leaves
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
3 sage leaves, chiffonade
1 small bunch chives, matchsticked
1 tsp. oregano leaves
1 tsp. thyme leaves
16 mint leaves
1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. kosher or sea salt
1/3 cup filtered, extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. minced black truffle, optional
Combine all the herbs but the mint in a large wooden salad bowl. Keep cool while you make the dressing.
To make the dressing, disolve the salt in the vinegar in a small mixing bowl. Whisk in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Add the truffle, if using. Add the dressing just before serving. Toss and plate in small portions on lunch, dinner or salad plates or ramekins. Garnish each serving with two mint leaves and a drop or two of sherry vinegar. Serve immediately.