- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large shallots, minced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 5 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 5 tablespoons toasted hazelnut oil or toasted walnut oil
- 2 medium heads Bibb or baby Bibb lettuce
- 4 cups baby spinach, tatsoi, or other dark green bitter greens
- 2 ounces crumbled gorgonzola, roquefort, or mild goat cheese, optional
Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium high heat and add the shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden. Stir in the cranberries, 3 tablespoons of the vinegar, sugar, and water, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook until cranberries are plumped and coated with a light syrup, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
Place the hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel and rub the nuts against each other in the towel by pressing against the towel on the counter until any loose skins come off. Discard skins. Don't worry if all of the skins don't come off. Coarsely chop the hazelnuts and set aside.
In a small nonreactive bowl, combine the remaining vinegar with the Dijon and season lightly with salt and pepper. While whisking continually, drizzle in the toasted hazelnut oil until emulsified. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Assemble the lettuces in a salad bowl and spoon the cooled cranberry mixture over the top. Sprinkle the hazelnuts over all and drizzle lightly with the dressing. Toss gently to combine, adding enough dressing as needed to lightly coat the salad. Sprinkle the top of the salad with the crumbled gorgonzola if desired and serve immediately.