This salad is a complete expression of Peter Lowell’s Restaurant. Its story begins in Germany and goes like this. While living in an old brick farmhouse outside of Hamburg, I experienced what I have come to believe was the perfect expression of the German salad. Prepared daily by Christina Debes, the farmhouse matriarch, it consisted of broken buttermilk dressing with summer savory, feta, tomato and pumpkin seeds over, of course, butter lettuces. Thinking back to the flavor of this salad, I don’t know if the dressing had any vinegar in it and this suits my pallet just fine. Growing up my parents always made tart balsamic vinaigrette with too much garlic and not enough salt. For me this German salad sits at the top of all lettuce-based salads in my memory bank (the panzanella is bar none as well). Added to this is the prototypical German salad served at Suppenkuche in SF – it’s an amazing salad, but not an amazingly good salad. It’s a huge mixed German Salad with cabbage, carrots, beets, potato salad & butter leaf lettuce. If these two influences created the structure of the salad, the beet dressing was primarily designed by an old friend; a fiercely Italian chef named Steven Peyer. Add a touch of Lowell’s health food roots (i.e. the Braggs & Kale) to that recipe and you get our current take on the Gemischter Salat.
For the Greens:
We use a locally sourced blend of young kales, chards, and beet greens with ruby streaks mustard and arugula. Our farmers often throw in the kitchen sink as well…meaning other edible plants and greens. These greens add a level of depth and spiciness that stand up to the rich dressing below. When store bought, I recommend a mix of ½ lb baby kale, 1-2 bunches hearty (not baby) arugula and ½ lb of nice looking braising mix, found in the bin at Whole Foods. If you don’t like or want to bother with those greens, this dressing will still blow minds with more delicate lettuces such a butter or red leaf.
Raw, washed (not peeled) Beets, julienned
Toasted Pumpkins Seeds
Dressing your Gemischter:
1 Peeled Medium Shallot (equal amount red onion a fine substitute)
1 Medium Boiled and Peeled Beet
¾ Cup Balsamic Vin
1T Brown Sugar
1 ½ T Salt
1T Freshly Ground Black Pepper
3T Apple Cider Vin
¼ C Braggs
2 C Canola Oil – Add all ingredients to blender except oil. Add oil slowly while spinning on medium. Dressing will hold for up to a week.