Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Brutus Salad – Watch Your Back, Caesar!

I don’t post a lot of salad videos, since, other than the dressing recipe, what am I going to teach you? Most people are pretty good when it comes to tossing things in a bowl, but I made an exception for what I’m calling a “Brutus.”

I discovered this salad at a great restaurant in Healdsburg, called Willis’s Seafood, where it was definitely not called a “Brutus,” but simply described as a, Little Gem Salad, Dijon Vinaigrette, Fuji Apples, Aged White Cheddar, Fresh Herbs, Fried Pecans.” It sounded amazing, and tasted even better.

It was so good, I joked that it could replace the Caesar as America’s favorite tossed salad, and a few beers later, the idea to call it the “Brutus” was born. I’m explaining this not only to give credit, where credit’s due, but also to make clear it has nothing to do with politics. Yes, nothing to do with it. Nothing at all.

Normally, I would tell you to add whatever you want to this salad, but not this time. Please make it exactly as shown. Having said that, you’ll of course have to adjust the dressing to your taste, but you already knew that. I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 portions:
For the dressing:
1/4 cup real French Dijon mustard
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
freshly ground black pepper
cayenne to taste
- the dressing should be sharp and acidic, but please adjust to your taste
For the salad:
4 hearts of romaine, cut or torn into bite-sized pieces
2 ounces extra-sharp aged cheddar
1 apple, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons dill sprigs, chopped
3/4 cup pecan halves, toasted in 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, seasoned with salt and 1 teaspoon of white sugar


Randy Doorn said...

Nice, as always.
Chef, I only recently discovered your blog and have been working my way backwards. The other day while mowing the lawn I found myself going 'round the outside, 'round the outside, 'round the outside. ;-)
I have made several of your recipes and used techniques I learned from your videos to,my surprise, great success. ...success in that I made a decent meal...
My favorite so far being your shrimp and pasta shell salad.
Thanks Chef.

Randy Doorn said...

Oh, as soon as I get back from Hilton Head Island, I'm going have a go at this salad dressing.

Britt said...

Willi's Seafood (and the whole family of Stark Reality Restaurants) is excellent. I recently moved from Sonoma County to Colorado, so this post has me feeling pretty homesick. Perhaps whipping up this salad and having a couple Racer 5's will help.

dOc said...

Hi chef... can you sugest a cheese I can replace the cheddar with?! The cheddar on my country are not good... THank you!!

Mary W said...

Don't normally comment on salads but - this one sounds really crunchy and good and I will try it. Thanks!

Foodie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TriggerHappy said...

I am so trying this. I was googling Brutus salads but none of them looked like this or had that killer salad dressing that I have to try. Salad Wishes come true!

Diana said...

Tarragon is a sadly under-utilized herb in American cooking. Happy to see it invited to the party here! Can't wait to try this!

Danbs1217 said...

Ah, mustard. My nemesis. Passing on the dressing, but real fan of your website and recipes.

Karen said...

I think that I'll add it to my July 4th menu. Thanks!

Unknown said...

i'm loving this so much!! the taste comes together magnificently!!

Carole said...

Oh, I've been doing a version of that for years! The dressing is the basic standard one I always do, while a good sharp cheese (gruyère for me) goes really well with apple & any kind of nuts.

I also tend to add some raisins, but I'll definitely try the roasted pecans, as they should add the same kind of sweetness & replace usual walnuts.

Walter H said...

Can you give us a hint on a particular brand of Dijon that has the desired heat you said is necessary? Thanks.

Unknown said...

I'm going out to get some romaine and pecans right now! Dinner Found! Check!

Nise said...

Tonight we enjoyed your delicious Brutus salad for dinner. The only changes I made were that I added sliced chicken breast, and I used sharp cheddar instead of extra sharp. The salad was very delicious! The tarragon gave it that anise pop; the pecans were meaty, sweet and crunchy; and the texture and crunch of the apples juxtaposed with the mustardy dressing was yummy. I wouldn't change anything. If I owned a restaurant I'd add this to the menu because it has that crave-worthy quality. Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

Unknown said...

Chef John! I was wondering if you could help me out with a small problem. I'm a 14 year old girl, and my father makes salmon croquettes. They're delicious, except they're too greasy for me. If I eat 3, I'll be throwing up grease for hours. Do you know how to fix this problem?

Unknown said...

Only one comment...? I feel sad for you lonely comment, I will produce this comment to keep you company :)

Sue Jos said...

I made this salad today with walnuts instead of pecans and it's delicious! My new favorite way to eat apples! (Apple 😉 be making this again)I wish I could post my photo of it because it looks beautiful too

I have also made your Ceasar dressing, Brothers Devil Sauce, your Brazilian fish stew, Herbed Grilled Shrimps and they were all amazing. I have enjoyed your simple video instructions and your snappy banter aka pundacious puns and often check out your website for my next gastric delight. Thanks Chef John!

Sar said...

Hello Chef!

I haven't gotten to the store to pick up the salad ingredients yet, but this dressing is what I've been looking for! Tried it last night on a Tuscan kale salad I make all the time and both my fiancé and I LOVED it. Thank goodness I made a double batch because I'll likely put it on everything this summer. Thanks very much, love your channel.

Unknown said...

This looked so good we tried it the very next day. I agree the combination of sweet (apples, nuts) and savory (dressing, cheese) was a great combination. Two thumbs up!