Secret Sauce

Romaine Salad with Fine Herb Dressing by James Kent


From Chef James Kent of Crown Shy:

You can make this dressing with any seasonal (or greenhouse or countertop) herbs. Just remember that proper dressing is all about balance. Taste as you go, and add vinegar, garlic, and herbs to find that happy equilibrium.  

Note: This recipe makes more dressing than you’ll need for the salad. Refrigerated, the dressing will keep for several days.


Fine Herb Dressing

1⅓ cups spinach

1 cup crème fraîche

½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves

7 tablespoons roughly chopped chives

3 tablespoons chervil leaves

3 tablespoons mayonnaise 

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar (or white wine vinegar)

2 anchovy fillets 

1 to 2 cloves garlic, grated

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


The Salad

2 heads baby romaine lettuce, washed and roots removed

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 breakfast radishes, thinly sliced, to garnish

Flat-leaf parsley, chives, and/or chervil, to garnish


To make the dressing: Add the spinach, crème fraîche, parsley, chives, chervil, mayonnaise, lemon juice, vinegar, and anchovies to the bowl of a Vitamix or food processor; mix at high speed until fully incorporated. Taste the dressing, and add the grated garlic, as desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To assemble the salad: Cut the heads in half and gently pull apart the leaves. In a large mixing bowl, toss the lettuce with 4 tablespoons of the dressing. Season with salt and pepper, then taste, and add more dressing, if desired. On each serving plate, stack the dressed romaine leaves to create a small tower. Sprinkle with sliced radishes and any stray herbs, and serve.


Serves 4.