It’s true that in my family the lettuce most frequently called into duty is romaine—the hearts in particular. We are suckers for a good crunch. And yes, I know it’s not the most nutritious lettuce on the planet, but hey, some fiber, and the aforementioned crunch, and sometimes other lettuces and vegetables worked into the mix.
But sometimes you need a salad with a little more presence, some kick, and then you will be reaching for the more assertive greens, greens like arugula, mustard greens, mizuna, spinach….. and do grab a mix if you can, so much easier. I often blend in some romaine to a mix, to make it more accessible for a broader audience.
And bold greens call for an assertive dressing. The hot sauce darling of the past few years is gochujang, actually a paste, traditionally made with chili peppers, fermented soybeans, brown sugar glutinous rice, and salt (trust, it’s so much better than that description would lead one to believe). Some snooty food people think gochujang is over but a) they should get over themselves, and b) its been around since probably the 15th century so, really a few years in the limelight and people are thinking its had it moment. I think not.
I use it in pretty much any kind of recipe a bit of heat is warranted (which is often and varied), and it steps right into the spotlight in this dressing. The orange juice and the honey balance it out in this dressing with a bit of sweetness. I also think this dressing would make a great marinade for pork or chicken.
Serve this salad with:
- Korean-Style Grilled Short Ribs
- Korean Pork Chops
- Dijon and Honey Crusted Pork Tenderloins
- Fall-Apart Roasted Pork Shoulder with Rosemary, Mustard and Garlic
- Rosemary and Lemon Roasted Chicken Thighs
Spicy Greens Salad with Gochujang Dressing
- 2 tablespoons gochujang paste
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons minced onions
- 4 ounces mixed spicy greens
- 4 ounces romaine heart leaves torn into smaller pieces
- In a jar, add the gochujang paste, oil, orange juice, vinegar, honey, onions and salt. Shake to combine.
- Place the greens and romaine in a serving bowl, and either serve the dressing on the side, or drizzle it over and toss to combine.
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