Wednesday, September 5, 2007

We Will Rock You - Mâche Pit Salad

Do you ever get a song stuck playing in your head? Maybe it’s a chord progression as you’re passing by a boombox in the street, or a few lyrical notes that repeat like a mantra to soothe your rough nerves at the end of a day. Or maybe someone said something to you that trips a whole trainload of memories that you can’t shake no matter how you try. The old adage goes that you can’t hold two disparate thoughts together at the same time, that one will dominate and obliterate the other. But those synapse scientists never had to deal with the contagion of the jack-boot stomp of Queen’s “We Will Rock You.”

Susan had a little lamb....

That seed was planted by Cynthia of Tastes Like Home, and Sandeepa of Bong Mom’s CookBook. Each a Rockin’ Girl Blogger in her own right, passed the torch of honor to me, and now I’ve got to face the music. We aren’t talking “Ave Maria,” here, either. And that’s too bad, because I’ve just scored my serendipitous first-ever punnet of tender, timid lamb’s tongue lettuce which I planned to dress in a simple slip of ultra-virgin olive oil and the faintest spray of sea salt. Looks like I’m going to have to go all acid and edgy now, and turn my sweet little salad into an anything-but-modest mosh pit. Lollapalooza just might approve.

Mâche Pit Salad

1 punnet (8 generous handfuls) lamb’s lettuce
1 medium bullet endive, shredded
½ yellow bell pepper, slivered after removing seeds and pith
½ cup carrots, sliced into coins
2 medium tomatoes, diced


Gently mix all ingredients in large bowl. Add vinaigrette at last moment. Lamb’s lettuce is very delicate and wilts easily when dressed.

Raspberry Marmalade Vinaigrette – Adapted from

1/3 cup raspberry vinegar
1/4 cup good-quality orange or other citrus marmalade
1 tablespoon olive oil [or heavy cream, sour cream or mayonnaise]
3 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
A few whole raspberries, for garnish


Gently whisk all ingredients in medium bowl. Pour on salad moments before serving and top with raspberry garnish.

Serves 4 --

For more girls in the band, check out:

Nora of Life's Smörgåsbord - Conviviality across the continents, joie de vivre and genuine concern for the blogging community.

Ayşe of I Love Turkish Food - Skillfully translated, fascinating recipes and orchestrator of one of the most mesmerizing blockbuster round-ups in recent times, Turkish Night.

Simona of Briciole - Quintessentially Italian expressions of life and love of good eating, inextricably bound with emotion, charm, and literally, a voice.

Johanna of Green Giraffe Gourmet - Infectious enthusiasm, a weakness for winging it when the ingredients are AWOL, and the best mix of rockin' music teasers at the end of every post on her virtual stereo.

This post is being submitted to Katie at Thyme for Cooking, the Blog, hosting Weekend Herb Blogging for Kalyn Denny of Kalyn's Kitchen, the creator of this weekly food blog event.

[Note: I am leaving this Saturday for a week in Maine, where the wi-fi connectivity is iffy at best. Will be in touch and posting again as soon as it's possible. Warm wishes to you all!]


Nora B. said...

Susan, I've said this before, you write so well, and this post had such an original angle. The salad looks beautiful. Thanks for the vinaigrette recipe.

Thank you sooo much for making me part of the band! I think we are soooo much better than the reunited Spice Girls ;-)

Lucy said...

Love those little lamb's tongues - such a delicate and delicious salad. They really do resemble what they're named, sweet and tender little greens! That raspberry close-up, bobbing about in the vinaigrette is a fine thing indeed.

A fabulous way to tie up those tags!

sunita said...

Susan, I love the way you've dressed up your do rock indeed:)and thanks for the song...seems like ages since I've heard it:D

Kalyn said...

I agree, you're a fantastic writer, and what a great name for the recipe. It sounds delicious too. I love this type of lettuce.

Hope you have a wonderful vacation. I haven't been to many places in New England and Maine is definitely on my list of "want to go there" places!

Sylvia said...

This salad is amazing and I love the way that you´ve dressed up,so creative with raspberries.Lovely salad

ricki said...

Having been in a few mosh pits in my younger years. I think this one is much more suited to a family! Can't wait to try it.
Have a great time in Maine & be careful!!

Mishmash ! said...

That second photo is absolutely stunning!! Beautiful :)and the dressing looks quite tempting as well. Btw, enjoy your trip.....come back with lots of pics and lobster stories :)

Reg the RSS feed, let me try thru ATOM as this time also it did not pop up in my Reader..!!

Cynthia said...

Ouuuuu, I am loving this salad dressing and yes, I do know what you mean about getting a song stuck in your head! I've been humming a Guyanese folk song for the past 3 days! :)

Jyothsna said...

The first picture was rocking, I didn't want to read further but reach out to it!! I'd love to make that dressing, maybe try something else inplace of raspberries that I won't find here.

sra said...

Beautiful post, Susan! Have fun in Maine!

Maryann said...

The photo with the raspberry in it looks so tempting. Enjoy Maine. I love Maine :)

Susan said...

I've never heard of "bullet endive," Susan. How is it different from Belgian endive? Your photo with the raspberry is mouth-watering. Truly. Wishing you safe and happy travels in Maine, AND hoping that you don't enter a store that is playing a song from Journey. I've had one of their songs in my head for days, but I don't know the title. It's something like..."I'm holding you with open arms..." Ugh. That's the worst, when it's stuck in your head and you don't even know the words.

Nanditha Prabhu said...

great fresh looking crunchy salad!
enjoy your vacation!

Truffle said...

Your photos are just stunning. Your food always looks so exceptional. Great recipe!

katiez said... I have it in MY head... we will, we will ....
Nice salad! I really love the vinaigrette - hot and sweet, yum!
rock you!

Kelly-Jane said...

Lovely pictures in this post Susan, and your dressing sounds fab!

Hope you have great time on holiday, and see you when you get back =)

Deborah Dowd said...

For the Mache Pit- Queen's Another One Bites the Dust! Great salad, but I can never find mache- I guess I need to grow my own!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Dang, I wish I could have this salad for lunch! Beautiful Susan.
Enjoy Maine!

Simona said...

I can't believe I am 5 days late in reading this! So, by now you are in Main, on vacation I hope. Thanks for mentioning my blog! Speaking of the Queens: on the front of a building along Hwy 101 in CA, there is a sign that says 'Don't Forget the Magic' and every time we drive past it, 'It's a kind of magic' starts playing in my head. Your posts are always sparkling and I love the photos, especially the one with the raspberry.

Rosa said...

How intriguing! I'm rushing out to buy some mache...

Sandeepa said...

How did I miss this ? have fun Susan and again lads of best wishes on your day :) You rock in all walks of life

Toni said...

Now I've got that song going through my head! Your photo of that salad dressing makes me crave it - beautiful shot coupled with your always fantastic writing. Enjoy Maine! Hope the weather holds for you!

bee said...

what a beautiful recipe. freddie mercury was from my neck of the woods - bombay.

TBC said...

Congrats on the award!
The last pic is so beautiful.I am going to try that vinaigrette when I get a chance.

Susan said...

Dear All,
Just got back yesterday and am catching up. Thanks for all your generous comments. I will respond to each one individually later on today.
Happy to be on holiday, but just as happy to be back!

librariane said...

Ack! For some reason, your blog was never showing up with new posts on my feed list; I have some catching up to do.

We have a French cookbook that has a lamb's lettuce salad recipe in it, but we don't have any in stores around us (may have to go to Milwaukee for it), so I haven't been able to try it. Yours looks lovely!

Mansi Desai said...

I just posted a salad myself today!! I love your raspberry vinaigrette!!:)

Susan said...

Nora, thanks again and again. The Spice Girls should change their name. What do they know about spices? ; )
Thank you, Lucy. I feel so fortunate to have found these dear, sweet greens. Next time they come my way, I will give them the soft and gentle spa treatment I’d initially planned for them.
Hi, Sunita. You are very sweet. Thank you. Queen does take you back, doesn’t it?
Many, many thanks, Kalyn. Maine was magnificent. I hope you do visit there someday. There are enough local food specialties to keep South Beach and you happy.
Thank you, Sylvia. How are you? Good to see you! I'll come visit you soon.
Hey, Ricki! If you can’t find this lettuce (it took me years), you can easily substitute another similar tender green like Boston or butter lettuce.
Thanks, Shn! I’m working on processing the photos right now. I hope to have a new post out sometime tomorrow. Hope ATOM has worked for you.
Hey, Cynthia! This dressing has real snap to it. Glad you find it appealing. I’m assuming after all these days that your folk song has up and fled? : )
Jyothsna, that is high praise, indeed. Thank you very much. Mango or dried fig would work beautifully with this.
Thanks, Sra. I DID have fun; will be posting about it soon.
Hi, Maryann. Thanks so much. Maine is a wonder; it was worth the second trip.
Hi, Susan. It is the creamy white Belgian endive (no difference), but described it by shape for those who are unfamiliar with endive and may be thinking of curly or other varieties. Thanks always for the kudos and SHAME on you for mentioning Journey! LOL!
Thanks, Nanditha. Good to see you!
Hope you are well.
Truffle – Thank you very much. You do say the nicest things. : )
Opps, Katie. My bad. ; ) Glad you like the salad. Thanks for hosting!
Thanks, Kelly-Jane. Holiday was great. Post will follow as soon as possible.
Welcome, Deborah! Another great kickin’ tune by Queen. They really have worn well through the years. Don’t loose hope; I never could find mâche before this summer, either. I may follow your lead, though. A home garden always ensures you get what you want. Good to see you. Thanks for visiting!
Thank you, Tanna. You are always so dear.
Thanks, Simona! It was a vacation. We just got back yesterday. Happy to promote your blog, I enjoy it so. Glad you like the posts. I strive to make them as pleasurable to read as they are to write.
Hi, Rosa. I’ll bet you have much easier access to mâche than we do here in the U.S.
Sandeepa, you darling. Thank you very much for your well wishes, praise and travel advice.
Hey, Bee. I had no idea Mr. Mercury was from India. I’ll have to look him up now. Thanks on both counts.
Thanks, TBC. I’m glad you enjoyed the pic. : }
Thanks, Ruhama. Lamb’s lettuce is indeed hard to find, even in the NY area. I suspect that it has a very short shelf life and may not be worth stocking. That would also explain its price tag.

Puzzling what’s up with the feed. Another blogger a few weeks ago had the same problem. Not sure if it was remedied. I did suggest she try a new subscription using ATOM. I’ve had great luck myself with ATOM. What service do you use for your reader? Technology is a boon when it works, but a bane when it doesn’t. Very good to see you again.
Hi, Mansi. Welcome! Thanks for visiting. As soon as I get back into the groove since returning yesterday from vacation, I will take a good look at your blog and enjoy your salad post.

kathryn said...

Amazing looking dressing Susan. I'm itching to try it. Will also give me an "excuse" to buy the raspberry vinegar I've been eyeing up at my local deli. So thanks for that!

Susan said...

Hello, Kathryn. How are you? Thanks for your kind words. You will find many reasons for raspberry vinegar once you succumb to the temptation. It really does have great flavor.

Julie said...

Hi Susan,
I've borrowed the picture of your "mache" in the pot to illutrate an article on my blog. I've mentioned your name and blog address on it.
I hope you don't mind ...
Otherwise don't hesitate to tell me.
Thank you !