TOMATO AVOCADO SALAD WITH HAZELNUT VINAIGRETTE
1 1/2 ounces hazelnuts
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons hazelnut oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 head butter lettuce
1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into small dice
6 ounces fresh buffala mozzarella, cut into small dice
1 large firm-ripe Hass avocado, pitted, peeled and cut into small dice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place hazelnuts in a baking pan, place in oven and toast for about 7 minutes. Let cool. Roughly chop and set aside.
Whisk together shallot, vinegar, hazelnut oil, salt and pepper.
Combine tomatoes, mozzarella and avocado in a bowl; toss to combine. Whisk vinaigrette. Add half of it to salad, mixing well. Add additional vinaigrette as needed. Adjust the seasoning. Carefully separate leaves from head of butter lettuce. Rinse and dry well. Select 2 or 3 butter lettuce leaves for each plate, overlapping the leaves so they form a bowl. Spoon the salad into the lettuce leaves and garnish with the chopped hazelnuts. Serves 4 to 6 as a first course. Works well with a
baguette and sweet butter.