Genevieve’s Little Gem Salad Recipe | Bestia

Spruce up your summer dinner party offering with these simple yet delicious salads. Taken from Bestia: Italian Recipes Created in the Heart of L.A., the debut recipe book created by husband-and-wife chef/owners of Los Angeles restaurant, Bestia, in which they share their charming personal story as well as many of their recipes, all presented in a stunning visual manner. 

“When Genevieve was pregnant with our daughter, Saffron, I was obsessed with her. When she would walk into the restaurant, waddling with her belly, it was like a ray of sunshine was beaming directly down on her. I couldn’t believe how cute she was. So I felt compelled to name a dish after her, and this is the kind of salad she loves—very simple, with a lot of greens. On the whole, the salad is nicely acidic, which makes it good to serve alongside anything on the richer side. Or you can eat it like Genevieve does—on its own, with her fingers.” Serves 4.


  • 2 large or 4 small heads Little Gem lettuce, cored, leaves left whole
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh dill
  • 3 large radishes, very thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 8 fresh chives, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons Walnut Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ounce ricotta salata cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon walnut oil


  1. In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, parsley, dill, radishes, shallot, chives, and walnuts and toss gently to mix.
  2. Dress the greens with 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and toss quickly, then season with salt and pepper and toss again, making sure each leaf is evenly coated with the dressing. 
  3. Transfer the salad to a large serving platter. Using a vegetable peeler, shave strips of ricotta salata over the top. Finish with the small drizzle of walnut oil. Taste and adjust the vinaigrette and salt if needed and serve.

Walnut Vinaigrette


  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 grinds of black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/4 cup walnut oil


In a bowl, combine the lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Slowly drizzle in both oils while whisking until the dressing is combined and emulsified.

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Reprinted with permission from Bestia: Italian Recipes Created in the Heart of L.A. by Ori Menashe, Genevieve Gergis and Lesley Suter, copyright © 2018. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Photography credit: Nicole Franzen © 2018