The Gemischter Salat is a complete expression of Peter Lowell’sWa. 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 lettuce. Thinking back to the flavor of this salad, I don’t know if the dressing had any vinegar in it, and this suits my palate just fine. Growing up, my parents always made tart balsamic vinaigrette with too much garlic and not enough salt. 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 salad with cabbage, carrots, beets, potato salad, and butter leaf lettuce. If these two influences created the structure of our 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 Bragg’s liquid amino and kale) to that recipe and you get our current take on the Gemischter Salat.
We use a locally sourced blend of young kales, chards, 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.
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 as butter or red leaf.
Raw, washed (not peeled) beets, julienned
Radishes, sliced thinly (preferably with a mandolin)
Toasted pumpkin seeds
1 medium shallot, peeled (or equal amount red onion)
1 medium beet, boiled and peeled
¾ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbl. brown sugar
1 ½ tbl. salt
1 tbl. black pepper
3 tbl. apple cider vinegar
¼ cup Bragg’s liquid amino
2 cups canola oil
Add all ingredients to blender except oil. Add oil slowly on medium. Dressing will hold up to a week.
Want to make another Lowell’s salad? Try our classic Caesar!