At Dante in Omaha, chef Nick Strawhecker serves a deceptively simple house salad that's all about letting good-quality greens shine. Finely grated cheese and chopped nuts add salt and crunch. It's perfect for spring and fall, when local lettuce is available.

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Ingredients

Directions

  • Remove 1/2 teaspoon zest from a lemon; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together lemon juice, white balsamic vinegar and honey. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the canola and grapeseed oils until emulsified. Stir in fresh thyme, the zest, and salt and pepper to taste.

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  • Place the greens in a large bowl. Drizzle dressing over salad, letting most of it run down the sides of the bowl. Gently toss greens with your hands. (This tongs-free method avoids over-dressing or bruising the leaves.) Top with cheese and pistachios.

*Shopping Tip

This simple salad really shines when you use good fresh lettuce. You can keep it simple (as we did) with just tender butter lettuce leaves, or explore arugula, leaf lettuce, baby kale, baby mustard greens--whatever looks good at the market. In season, definitely check out what's available at farmers markets, or consider planting mixed lettuce seeds in your backyard in spring and fall.

Get Creative

This recipe is just a blueprint: Have fun improvising! You can substitute a different nut, firm cheese or herb. Or skip the nuts, and toast some panko in olive oil to make a crisp breadcrumb rubble (like crumbled croutons) that will get caught in the lettuce. You can even add another vegetable—fine slivers of shallot, snap pea, fennel or radish. Just remember, you want to enhance the lettuce, not compete with it.

Nutrition Facts

255 calories; 24 g total fat; 5 mg cholesterol; 257 mg sodium. 7 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein;

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