Growing up, one of the “fanciest” salads our mom used to prepare on special occasions was “Ensalada de cogollos”. Very simple, topped with shredded carrots and dressed with olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Our dad would bring them home from the market and wash them thoroughly, so our mom could prepare them.
We always thought they were only found in Spain, but during their visit this summer, our dad managed to find “cogollos” during one our many (many) trips to the market. Here, they’re called “Little Gem Hearts”, and this is what they look like…
If you’ve never seen or eaten them before, “Little Gem Hearts” are sort of like a cross between butter lettuce and romaine hearts, only miniature size. They are small, dense hearts, pale in the center with darker green leaves on the outside. With crisp yet almost buttery texture, they soak in any dressing you pour on them, bursting with flavor on every bite.
We prepared this salad for one of our Rosh Hashana dinners. Adding fresh figs and pomegranate seeds enhances the sweetness of the lettuce makes it even more elegant and festive.
Hope you enjoy it
- 3-4 little gem hearts, thoroughly washed and quartered
- 8-10 yellow or red cherry tomatoes
- 2 medium carrots shredded
- 3 hearts of palm, sliced
- 6-8 fresh figs (any kind), cut in half
- 4 tbsp pomegranate seeds
- Creamy Balsamic Dressing (recipe follows)
- Arrange all the ingredients on a large serving dish. Drizzle dressing right before serving
- 1 tbsp stone ground mustard
- 1 tbsp honey mustard
- 1 tbsp brown mustard
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar ( makes ½ cup dressing)
- Combine all 3 types of mustard in a small bowl. Drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly until creamy. Whisk in lemon juice and balsamic vinegar until well combined