A quick search of da Google told me that it was a spicy, toasted walnut-based dressing over a salad of romaine, curly endive, watercress, and beets.
Da Google also informed me that the recipe was from The Nero Wolfe Cookbook – which I just happened to have a copy of.
Wolfe, with his leg man Archie Goodwin, solved many a mystery between tending to his orchids and enjoying the gustatory efforts of his chef, Fritz.
With all due apologies to Fritz and Mr. Wolfe, I made a few changes to the salad, based on my own taste and larder contents, but have got to say, this is one winner of a salad. If you want the original recipe, you’ll find it on da Google, but do consider this version; it was a big hit with everyone but the under seven crowd at our last gathering.
Devil’s Rain Dressing:
•3 cloves garlic, peeled
•1/2 cup toasted English walnuts*
•1 tsp dry mustard
•1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1/2 tsp dried shallots
•1 tsp minced chives
•1/2 tsp sea salt
•1/4 cup champagne vinegar
•1/4 cup dry red wine
•1/2 cup olive oil
•1/2 cup grape seed oil
*To toast the walnuts, arrange on a baking pan and pop into a 350º oven for ten minutes, then set aside to cool.
**To toast the pecans, bake at 300º for thirty minutes, stirring every ten minutes.
Combine the grape seed and olive oils together in a pitcher and, with the blender running, slowly stream into the dressing.
Stash the dressing in a covered jar in the fridge until needed.
When ready to serve, arrange the salad on a large platter, top with the toasted pecans and Gorgonzola crumbles, then serve with the dressing on the side.
Yeh, you could just toss the dressing over the salad, but there is way more dressing than needed for even one pretty big salad, and any leftovers would tend to get all wilty and stuff. Much more better, I think, to allow folk to dress their own.
Nice salad, and I am really glad that I added the cheese and the toasted pecans at the end; they kinda rounded out the taste. Next time I make this, I’m thinkin’ about adding in some sliced beets, as called for in the original recipe, except I’m gonna roast those puppies first by tossing the slices with a bit of sea salt and baking at 350º for ten to twenty minutes.
I’m also thinkin’ that this would be the perfect salad for Thanksgiving (or any other feast) Day.
It’s never too early to start planning…