This salad featuring lamb's lettuce is a feast for the eyes and a delicacy for your taste buds.
Lamb's lettuce (also known as mache lettuce or corn lettuce) is used for classic winter salads in Germany as it's available all throughout the winter months and is particularly flavorful from October to January. The combination of fresh lettuce and walnuts, sweet pomegranate kernels, grated carrots, and an easy home-made salty vegan Feta cheese is absolutely delicious, especially when seasoned with an exceptional sweetish dressing with mustard and pomegranate juice.
I know that lamb's lettuce might not be as well-known in other countries as it is in Germany. If you can't find it, just swap it for any other mild lettuce and the salad will still taste great.
The soft vegan Feta cheese used for this dish is made with macadamia nuts. It's simple to prepare and ready within minutes, but the nuts need to be soaked first for a couple of hours.
I like serving the salad on special occasions as it's so festive. Since most of the prep work can be done in advance, such as making the vegan Feta cheese or deseeding and juicing the pomegranate, the only thing left before serving is assembling the salad. Which leaves me more time for enjoying the dinner with my guests.
Lamb's Lettuce with Walnuts, Pomegranate, Carrots, and Soft Vegan Feta Cheese
Soft Vegan Feta Cheese
- 100 g macadamia nuts soaked for 3 hours or overnight
- 50 ml water
- 1 heaping teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 125 g lamb's lettuce or other lettuce
- 1 small red onion optional
- Kernels of ½ a small pomegranate
- 100 g shelled walnuts
- 2 big carrots about 150 g
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 4 tablespoons of walnut oil or hazelnut oil or a neutral-tasting oil
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- Kernels of ½ a small pomegranate or 3 tablespoons of pomegranate juice
- 2 teaspoons rice syrup
- For the vegan feta cheese, blend everything in a food processor.
- For the dressing, juice the kernels of the pomegranate. I juice them using the following simple method, which doesn't require a food processor or blender: I place the kernels in a mug and thrust them with the end of a wooden spoon until runny, then I strain them. You need 3 tablespoons of juice for the dressing.
- Mix all the dressing ingredients.
- Peel the carrots and grate them.
- Peel the onion and chop it finely.
- Rinse the lamb's lettuce well under running water, then evenly distribute it between 4 plates or bowls.
- Distribute all the other salad ingredients between the plates. For the vegan Feta cheese, I use a teaspoon or my fingers to pluck little heaps from the mixture and distribute them between the plates.
- Pour the dressing over the salad.