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Romaine with Toasted Pecans and Pickled Strawberries

Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham
Hands-on time 20 mins
Total time 1 hr, 20 mins
Yield Makes 10 to 12 servings
Use this recipe as a template for every season, substituting seasonal fruit such as plums, figs, or grapes for the berries. If your strawberries are large, cut them into eighths.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 (16-oz.) container fresh strawberries, quartered
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 6 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 3 romaine lettuce hearts
  • 1 cup pecan halves, toasted
  • 1 (4-oz.) blue cheese wedge, crumbled* (optional)

How to Make It

  1. Combine first 2 ingredients and 1 1/2 cups water in a large bowl; whisk in honey until salt is dissolved and honey is blended. Add strawberries; cover and let stand 1 hour.

  2. Pour strawberry mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a medium bowl; reserve 2 Tbsp. liquid. Transfer strawberries to a bowl. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

  3. Whisk together 1 Tbsp. vinegar, Dijon mustard, and reserved 2 Tbsp. strawberry liquid in a bowl. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth.

  4. Cut lettuce hearts in half crosswise, keeping top 6 inches of each and reserving ends for another use. Place lettuce tops on a serving platter. Top with strawberries, pecans, and, if desired, cheese; drizzle with vinegar mixture.

  5. *1 (4-oz.) goat cheese log, crumbled, may be substituted.

Adapted from The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen, copyright 2013 by Matt Lee and Ted Lee.