From: Chef Josiah Stone, Sent Sovi, Saratoga, CA. Yield: 6 servings.
12 heads sweet/mild baby lettuces (Lola Rossa, Green Leaf, Bibb), cleaned, separated into leaves
2 large fresh California Avocados*, peeled, seeded, cut into 6 wedges
as needed, granulated sugar
as needed, oil
Roquefort Herb Vinaigrette (yields 3 cups):
1 oz. wholegrain mustard
2 oz. maple syrup
4 oz. golden balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
4 oz. mild extra virgin olive oil
4 oz. rice bran or canola oil
1 Tbsp. fresh tarragon, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh marjoram, chopped
4 oz. Roquefort cheese, crumbled
1 lb. piece of applewood-smoked slab bacon, cut 1" thick, rind removed
For Roquefort herb vinaigrette: Combine shallot, mustard, maple syrup, golden balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper in a blender. Blend until shallot is finely chopped. Slowly add oils in a thin stream to emulsify. Transfer to a bowl and add herbs and cheese; whisk lightly to combine, leaving chunks of cheese.
For bacon confit: Preheat oven to 325°F. Place bacon into pan slightly larger than bacon. Roast bacon, fat-side up, for 2-3 hours until bacon is tender and golden brown. It should be totally caramelized. Drain on paper towels. Cut into ¼" lardons. Reserve at room temperature if using right away. Otherwise, refrigerate until needed. Bring to room temperature before use. Alternatively, vacuum pack bacon and cook in thermal bath at 185°F for 24 hours. Cool, and finish at 400°F for 10 minutes until brown. Continue as directed above.
For salad: Place lettuce leaves in large bowl and dress lightly. Set aside. Dust the cut sides of avocado slices with granulated sugar. Heat a non-stick pan with small amount of oil over medium heat. Saute avocado slices until sugar is caramelized.
To assemble: Divide lettuce among 6 chilled plates. Garnish each with several lardons of bacon confit and 2 slices of caramelized avocado. Drizzle with dressing and serve.
* A large fresh California Avocado weighs about 8 oz.