Garlicky Romaine Salad

  • images/garlicky_romaine_salad.jpg

Makes 4 servings

Dressing

  • 12 cup toasted pine nuts
    14 cup vegetable oil
    14 cup rice vinegar
    1 tablespoon fish sauce
    1 tablespoon sesame oil
    3 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
    14 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    14 teaspoon white pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
    vegetable oil for deep-frying
    8 wonton wrappers, cut into ? inch-wide strips
    1 medium shallot, peeled and sliced into thin rings
    2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced into thin rounds

  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
    5 cups torn romaine lettuce (about 10 ounces)

Directions

  1. To make the dressing, place all the dressing ingredients in a blender. Whirl until thoroughly combined.
    In a small bowl, mix together the salt and five-spice powder.
  2. Pour oil to a depth of 2 inches into a 2 quart saucepan and heat to 350 degrees F.
  3. Working in batches, add the wonton strips and deep-fry until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain briefly on paper towels, and then place in a large bowl. Sprinkle all the salt mixture over the strips and toss gently to coat evenly.
  4. Fry the shallot rings and garlic rounds in the same heated oil, remove with slotted spoon and drain. Set aside.
  5. To assemble salad, place the avocado, lettuce, shallots and garlic in a large bowl. Pour half of the dressing over the lettuce and toss to coat evenly. Garnish the salad with the wonton strips. Serve the remaining dressing on the side.