Romaine Lettuce Salad
with Cilantro Dressing

Ensalada de Lechuga con Aderezo de Cilantro

Makes 6-8 servings


I received this recipe from the elegant Lolita Fuster de Isla, the eighty-five-year-old grande dame of fine cooking in San Andrés Tuxtla. I spent a lovely afternoon listening to her recollections of living and cooking at La Isla, the ranch where she and her husband raised cattle and grew pineapples for many years. In Mexico, to serve a green salad like this marks a cook as having sophisticated, cosmopolitan taste.

1 large head of romaine lettuce,
     ragged outer leaves discarded
1 cucumber (any type), peeled, seeded,
     and julienned
4 large celery stalks, trimmed and julienned
20 cilantro sprigs, leaves only
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 small white onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Have ready a large bowl of ice water. Rinse the lettuce under cold running water, tear into bite-sized pieces, and let stand in the ice water to crisp for 10-15 minutes. Drain well and dry very thoroughly in a salad spinner.

In a salad bowl, combine the lettuce, cucumber, and celery.

In a blender, combine the cilantro and olive oil; process to a purée. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Toss with the salad and serve.


Buy the Book!


Zarela's Veracruz
Cooking and Culture in Mexico's Tropical Melting Pot
by Zarela Martinez and Anne Mendelson
ISBN: 061800713X; $35.00
Houghton Mifflin Co.
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publication Date: 2001
Illustrations: some colored photos
Recipe reprinted by permission.


Zarela's Veracruz



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