April Fool In the Kitchen

Butter Lettuce salad

Ask any of my friends and they’ll tell you I can’t lie. At least, I don’t have the skill to lie and get away with it. If there’s a practical joke being played on someone, I want to scurry over and give away the punch line before things get embarrassing.

Being an odd little kid on the playground (read: future writer) probably has a lot to do with my aversion to “little white lies“, bending the truth and practical jokes. The whole business twists up my insides and makes me feel down-to-the-core wrong. Which is why I am NOT posting an April Fool’s recipe. I’d rather contribute to keeping it real on April Fools day and avoid all the pranksters.

I offer you this beautiful, mouth pleasing butter lettuce salad that is perfect for staying indoors, eating healthy and avoiding the truth-bending fools.

This dish was inspired by a beautifully textured salad I had at David Lentz and Suzanne Goin’s Los Angeles restaurant, Hungry Cat. The mixture of market fresh ingredients and shirred eggs give this salad so much flavor and mouth-feel I’ve found myself thinking about skipping a main course and ordering another salad. Which I never do, because their entrees are way too good to ignore, but…

Turns out, making this salad at home is so easy and satisfying I really don’t need to eat anything else with it. I’ve modified this recipe for maximizing health benefits. If you don’t have a problem with cholesterol, feel free to leave the yolks in the hard boiled eggs.

Butter Lettuce salad

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Market Lettuce Salad with Shirred Eggs
Inspired by a dish at The Hungry Cat, Los Angeles

1 head of butter leaf lettuce (red leaf lettuce can be substituted)
3 radish, thinly sliced (use a mandoline for precision. The little radish tops will protect your fingers!)
4 tbsp flax seed oil
1 lime, cut in half for juicing
2 eggs, hard-boiled with yolks removed
salt (regular and Maldon) and pepper

Put 2 eggs in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then cover, turning off the heat. Let sit for 10-15 minutes and then drain and immerse in cold water. Remove shell of egg and yolks.

Meanwhile, pull apart the leaves of the lettuce. Wash the leaves well (immerse in water or rinse under faucet for several minutes) and spin to dry. Put the lettuce and radish in a big salad bowl and season dried leaves with a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Drizzle with flax seed oil and, using hands or wooden spoons, toss gently to coat the leaves with oil. Squeeze half the lime over the lettuce. Taste a saturated leaf. Squeeze more lime juice over salad if it needs more acidity. Taste again, adjust for flavor.

Using a cheese grater, shirr the eggs (grate the egg white) onto the salad. Plate, finish with a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt and serve.

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Brooke Burton nominated for best food writing

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Food Woolf Written by:

Brooke Burton is an Los Angeles-based restaurant professional and hospitality expert. She is a freelance food writer, speaker, and co-author of The Food Blog Code of Ethics.

2 Comments

  1. Leah
    April 1
    Reply

    Yeah, Brooke! This salad looks even better than the original. And I love the writing here, your voice is so clear. I pity the fool/

  2. matt wright
    April 2
    Reply

    Loving the salad. Clean, crisp, and with my favorite lettuce.

    Agreed with Leah – great writing. Makes me feel lame for doing an April Fools post!

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