This butter lettuce salad is simple but special. Delicate buttery bibb lettuce leaves dressed with a bright citrus honey vinaigrette.
Like most days, my son Paul came in the door from school yesterday and the first thing he said (after "hi mom") was "I'm starved!" I had just finished photographing this salad, and I offered him a taste. He reached right in and grabbed a leaf. "It tastes like spring." He said. What a great response! He gave me permission to quote him.
Paul is right. This salad is like spring. The delicate butter lettuce leaves remind me of tender spring blooms. The bright flavors of lemon and lime, mixed with sweet honey are evocative of buzzing bees, budding flowers, fresh fruit, and the wonderful newness and warmth of the season.
It's been a long snowy winter here in Boston and I'm thrilled to be seeing signs of spring, even if only in my salad bowl!
WHAT IS BUTTER LETTUCE?
- Butter lettuce, also called Boston, Bibb and Living lettuce, has tender silky leaves with a delicate fresh flavor.
- Usually sold with its roots still attached, butter lettuce lasts longer in the fridge than other lettuces because it's essentially still growing.
- Butter lettuce, with it's tender leaves, is wonderful in spring and summer salads.
WHAT MAKE THIS SALAD SO SPECIAL?
- The lettuce is tender, sweet and buttery
- The vinaigrette is bright and exciting with intense citrus flavors balanced by sweet honey.
- I love making this salad for company. Although it's very simple and just greens, it has that special something. I always gets compliments and requests for the recipe.
I haven't said anything about the tarragon yet - it's great! This anise flavored herb is the perfect punctuation mark for the bright and sweet flavors of citrus and honey.
This recipe is adapted from Avec Eric
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- Raw Kale Salad with Honey Lemon and Parmesan
- Insalata Tricolore
- My Favorite Holiday Salad
- The Best Green Salad
Here's the recipe for Butter Lettuce Salad with Citrus Honey Vinaigrette. If you try this recipe I hope you'll come back to leave a rating and a comment. I'd love to know what you think!Print
Butter Lettuce Salad with Citrus Honey Vinaigrette
- Total Time: 20 mins
- Yield: 4-6 1x
A simple but special salad of soft buttery lettuce with a bright citrus honey dressing.
- For the Dressing
- 2 ½ tablespoon lemon juice plus the zest of one lemon (zest before juicing)
- 2 tablespoons lime juice plus the zest of 1 lime (zest before juicing)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Sea salt (I recommend Maldon) or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons canola oil
- For the Salad
- 3 heads butter lettuce (also called Bibb, Boston or living lettuce)
- ½ cup fresh tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
- Make the Dressing: Whisk lemon juice and zest, lime juice and zest, honey, and dijon in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly, to emulsify the dressing. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Make the Salad: Cut the root end off the lettuces and gently wash and dry the leaves. I like to rinse leaves separately, under the tap, and spin them dry in my salad spinner. Tear the larger leaves into smaller pieces. Pile leaves into a large bowl. Sprinkle in the tarragon and toss it gently with the lettuce. Just before serving, toss the salad with just enough dressing to coat. Serve immediately.
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Category: Salad
- Method: no cook
- Cuisine: Out of This World
Keywords: green salad, butter lettuce salad
Simple and quick but beautiful delicious salad. Loved the dressing! Thank you for this recipe. Forgot how much I love butter lettuce and citrus. I happen to have passion fruit and did not have limes so I substituted and it was fab. Also added some crushed pistachios in fresh avocado. Will definitely keep this recipe handy!
Hi Deb - I'm so glad you like the salad - I love your additions of avocado and pistachios. Delicious!
My family LOVES this. We are most often unable to find fresh tarragon but that is not the draw~ I have also added pistachios sometimes and they were a hit. All that said it is the DRESSING we love!
I loved it! The culinary simpletons in my house didn’t, so more for me!
Haha! I'm glad you enjoyed your own mountain of butter lettuce salad Adam. Thanks so much for coming back to let me know 🙂
I loosely followed the recipe for the dressing and man, it is SO good, I'm making this all the time! This was my first time having bibb lettuce as a salad and I ate the entire head to myself because this recipe. Added some onion and avocado and it was delicious
Haha, I'm with you Lauren. I could eat the whole bowl of that salad myself too 🙂 I'm so glad you enjoyed and really I appreciate that you took the time to report back.
I have long been searching for the perfect side salad, and this fits the bill! So easy, yet somehow super delicious!!
Actually don’t like cooking
This is an amazing dressing, I followed it exactly for portions but used olive oil and it was perfect. I’ve tried it with a few different salads and my favorite is using this dressing over arugula and topping the salad with a citrus marinated grilled salmon. So delicious!
this salad dressing is fantastic. your son is correct: it. tastes. like. spring.
i've made this salad + dressing 2 wkends in a row. it was well-received by the family - even the sister who doesn't care, at all, for tarragon. go figure.
as it happened, i didn't have fresh tarragon so for the salad i used your lettuce and some nice compari tomatoes - and put dried tarragon into the dressing, along with a bit of chervil. didn't have the oil you suggested, so i used olive oil. very simple. very fresh. it was wonderful. thAnks!
Yay! Thank you for coming back to leave a comment Hester. I'm so glad to hear you're enjoying the salad. It's a great one for Spring. You're reminding me that I want to make it soon.
ah, lisa: you wouldn't happen to have a nice lettuce soup recipe, would you? i've seen a few that are with potatoes, some of them creamy soups, but i was looking for something light and fresh like the salad.
Hi Hester, I wish I could help you with your request but I don't have a lettuce soup recipe. I will put it on my list of recipes to research. If you're looking for a light fresh soup that would pair well with the light citrusy salad You might enjoy this Moroccan Carrot Soup https://www.panningtheglobe.com/moroccan-carrot-soup-with-lemon-honey-yogurt/ or this Sweet Potato Soup with Shrimp https://www.panningtheglobe.com/coconut-sweet-potato-soup-with-spicy-shrimp/
thanks much for the zuppa recipe suggestions! the moroccan carrot soup sounds like a winner. will definitely try that.
Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ)
Oh, yes, it does look like spring - sigh - it is autumn down here! So simply delicious - Lisa.