Playing Jacques Pépin’s Wine Merchant Steak

What better way to add a little fun and romantic flavor to your meal than by cooking a recipe from the master, chef Jacques Pépin? Check out his go-to and easy-to-make salad recipe, cooked exclusively to celebrate Rachael Ray's 1,500th episode!

Ingredients
For the croutons:
  • 3 tablespoons of peanut or corn oil
  • 2 1/2 cups 1-inch pieces stale country bread
For the dressing:
  • 1 tablespoon crushed and finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard, such as Meaux
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup peanut or corn oil
Preparation

1 large head romaine lettuce, damaged leaves removed, the remainder cut into 1 1/2- inch pieces, washed, and dried (about 10 cups lightly packed)

For the croutons: Heat the oil in a large skillet. When it is hot, add the bread and sauté for about 4 minutes, until nicely browned on all sides. Remove from the skillet and set aside.


For the dressing: Combine the garlic, salt, pepper, mustard, vinegar and oil in a bowl suitable for serving the salad.

When ready to serve, add the lettuce to the bowl and toss with the dressing. Sprinkle with the croutons and serve immediately.