This butter lettuce salad is simple and special and perfect for summer. Delicate lettuce leaves dressed with a bright citrus honey dressing.
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!
Butter lettuce is also known as Boston, Bibb and Living lettuce. Its leaves are tender and it has a delicate fresh flavor. It comes with its roots still attached so it’s essentially still growing. Often it’s sold in a little plastic container that acts like a terrarium, keeping the plant moist and healthy and giving it a much longer fridge life than other, non-living lettuces.
I highly recommend this salad for any occasion. Even though it’s very simple and just greens, it’s got that special something. I’ve served it to guests and it always gets compliments and a few 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
MORE DELICIOUS LEAFY SALADS FROM PANNING THE GLOBE:
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
Simple but stellar salad of soft buttery lettuce and tarragon leaves with a bright citrus honey dressing.
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 20 mins
- Yield: 4-6
- Category: Salad
- Cuisine: Out of This World
- For the Dressing
- 2 1/2 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)
- 1/2 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.
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