Garlic, thyme and pine nuts blended with extra virgin olive oil and Balsamic vinegar. Tossed with fresh-cut romaine lettuce!

Serves 6

1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil

2-1/2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar

2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced

1/2 t. dried thyme

1/4 c. pine (pignoli) nuts

salt and black pepper to taste

1 lg. head romaine lettuce, washed and dried with core intact

Combine all ingredients, except lettuce, in a blender container. Blend on medium speed till nuts are pulverized, then on medium-high speed till smooth and creamy.

Remove outer leaves of romaine. Lay lettuce on its side on a board, then starting at the tip, cut 1 inch off the tip and throw away. Now cut crosswise into 1 inch widths until you reach the core. Discard core. Place cut greens into a large bowl. Pour dressing over and toss gently to coat. Serve at once.

Notes: This dressing tastes similar to a Caesar dressing. Using a blender instead of a fork to blend makes it thick and creamy.

Select a fine quality pine nut; the smaller the better.

Pine or pignoli nuts are not actually nuts, but seeds (kernels) of particular species of pine cones.