Recipe: Tossed Red Salad

with Shallot Vinaigrette and Flake Salt

Recipe by Mark Bitterman

Originally published in
Bitterman’s Craft Salt Cooking: The Single Ingredient That Transforms All Your Favorite Foods and Recipes

Crispy, crunchy crystals of flake salt fulfill their culinary destiny on top of a salad. Assuming the role of nature’s croutons, any flake salt will work. Cyprus Silver Flake and Halen Môn Silver Flake are more dramatic, but I love the more delicate flake salts like Bitterman’s Flake, Murray River, Havsnø Flaksalt, and Hakanai Flake, which all have very fine, very delicate flakes. Beneath the salt, this salad is quite tame, which underscores the transformative power of strategic salting.


1 shallot, halved and thinly sliced

3 tablespoons flavorful wine vinegar (we use equal parts red wine, rice wine, and sherry)

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 grindings black pepper

1 head red leaf lettuce, broken into leaves

1 head radicchio, broken into leaves

4 big pinches flake salt




Combine the shallot and vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside for at least 15 minutes or as long as several hours.

When you are ready to make the salad, whisk the mustard, olive oil, and pepper into the vinegar mixture. Break the lettuces into bite-size pieces and toss with the vinaigrette in a salad bowl. Divide among serving plates and sprinkle each salad with flake salt. Serve immediately.


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