Salade Verte

Photo: The Stranger 2008

This version of the classic Salade Verte has been on the menu at Le Pichet and Cafe Presse every day that we have been open.

The salade verte is the ultimate expression of simple food, simply prepared.  Because there are no tricks or gimmicks to hid mistakes, the quality of every ingredient is paramount.  We use organic Hazelnuts from Holmquist Hazelnuts, who are located near Blaine Washington.  They grow the Duchilly hazelnut, a skinless variety with great flavor and texture.  For Bibb lettuce, our produce supplier, Frank’s Quality Produce, uses various organic growers to maintain a year round supply.

The other important element is making sure that the lettuce is absolutely fresh, cold and crispy.  We tear our lettuce to order to avoid wilting or browning.  And this salad should be served as soon as it is dressed.

Thanks to JP for requesting this recipe.

About 4 servings


2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
1 small shallot, roughly chopped
1 cup hazelnuts, raw
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
1 T Dijon Mustard
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup soy or canola oil (or to taste)
1 large head butter lettuce, washed and chilled

1) Roast the hazelnuts:  Spread the whole hazelnuts on a cookie sheet saute pan large enough to contain them in a single layer.  Bake in a 350 F oven, stirring often, until toasty and fragrant. Cool, then chop roughly.  Set aside 1/2 cup of the nicest for garnish, use the rest for the vinaigrette.
2)  In a small saucepan, bring the orange juice to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until the juice has reduced to about 1 cup. Cool.
3) Combine the cooled juice, shallot, 1/2 cup hazelnuts, vinegar, mustard and salt and pepper to taste, in a blender, and blend on high speed until homogeneous. With the blender running, add the oil in a slow stream and blend until the mixture has the consistency of heavy cream – don’t over-mix, as the vinaigrette will break if it gets too warm. Check the seasoning and adjust as needed with with additional salt and pepper.
4) Core the lettuce and separate it into leaves, tearing them in two if they are larger than the palm of your hand. Toss the lettuce with salt and pepper to taste, and a little vinaigrette (you won’t need all of it and it’s important not to overdress this salad; any left over will store for several days in the refrigerator). Arrange the lettuce on individual plates (or one big platter), and sprinkle the remaining chopped hazelnuts over the top. Serve immediately.

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14 thoughts on “Salade Verte”

  1. Thanks so much for your generosity! I’m from Seattle but live in France and I’d love to try this lovely recipe. It’s a nightmare for me trying to read French recipes! 🙂 I’ll swing by next time I’m home.

  2. Thank you so very much for posting this recipe of my favorite green salad in the world, at my favorite restaurant in the world. There are fancier salads and fancier restaurants, but none that I desire so consistently. Now that I have moved away from Seattle I miss them both terribly.
    I googled “presse salade verte” but with very faint hope of finding anything, so this is amazing! Can’t wait to make it tomorrow for friends, with a lentil soup w carrots celery and fennel seeds, and a crusty baguette, naturellement!

    1. We use soy oil because its neutral flavor allows the flavor of the hazelnuts to shine. Therefore, any neutrally flavored vegetable oil (canola, safflower) may replace the soy oil in this recipe. I prefer organic, cold pressed oils when possible.

  3. I am allergic to oranges, but I am wondering if you could suggest a substitution? Your salads are the best of the best.

  4. I am so happy to have found this, coming directly from you and Le Pichet. This is one of my favorite things to eat, anywhere. Thank you!

  5. Thank you so much for this recipe! How long will the dressing, itself last in the fridge? I would like to just make a big cruet and use over the course of a few days.

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