Butter Lettuce Salad with Parmesan Dressing

butter-lettuce-salad-with-parmesan-dressing

This crisp butter lettuce salad is simple and fresh! Dress this delicate lettuce with Parmesan dressing, chives and breadcrumbs.

Butter Lettuce Salad

There’s nothing lovelier than the bright chartreuse of young lettuce leaves, and we can never resist a head of butter lettuce at the store or spring farmer’s market. Here’s a simple way to make it into an impressive side dish: this Butter Lettuce Salad! These delicate lettuce leaves are irresistible coated in creamy, savory Parmesan Peppercorn dressing and topped with a few simple veggies and Parmesan shavings. A sprinkle of crunchy breadcrumbs seals the deal: you won’t want to put down your fork! (At least, we didn’t.)

Ingredients in butter lettuce salad

Butter lettuce is a variety of green lettuce that also includes Bibb lettuce and Boston lettuce. It has a soft, delicate texture and a mild flavor, ideal for simple salads. It’s often sold as a small head with the roots still attached to keep it from wilting. You can often find this type of lettuce at farmers markets, especially in the spring when tender greens are in season. Here’s what you’ll need to whip up a quick salad with this tasty lettuce:

  • Butter lettuce (like Bibb or Boston)
  • Shallot
  • Cherry tomatoes or radishes
  • Fresh chives
  • Italian panko
  • Parmesan Dressing (see below)
  • Parmesan shavings, for garnish (optional)
Butter Lettuce Salad

For the creamy Parmesan dressing

This Parmesan Peppercorn Dressing is ideal for a butter lettuce salad: it’s just light enough in texture to coat the delicate leaves but doesn’t overwhelm them. It also has the most irresistible, creamy flavor that you’ll want to bathe in (sorry not sorry!). Here are a few things to note about the dressing:

  • The dressing is like a simpler form of Caesar dressing. Lose the anchovies and swap in red wine vinegar for lemon, and you’ve got this dressing! It’s one of our favorite salad dressings to date.
  • It Greek yogurt instead of sour cream to make it creamy. Using Greek yogurt makes for less calories than a standard creamy dressing, but still keeps the rich, smooth texture. It’s a solid healthy dressing for your repertoire!
Parmesan Peppercorn Dressing

A vegan alternative

Want to make a vegan butter lettuce salad? Use this fresh and creamy Cilantro Sauce instead for a light green dressing, or try it with Vegan Ranch or Vegan Caesar. They’re all tasty creamy vegan salad dressing ideas that will give a slightly different character to this salad.

Instead of croutons, try breadcrumbs!

Ever tried breadcrumbs on a salad? Lately we’ve topping salads with a sprinkle of panko. It brings a crunchy texture that spreads out into every bite, and it’s so simple (not to mention shelf stable). Here are some notes on panko and Italian panko to use in this butter lettuce salad:

  • Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb mixture that is airier and lighter than traditional breadcrumbs. It has a crunchy texture which is more satisfying on salads (breadcrumbs are much finer with almost a sand-like texture).
  • “Italian” means herbs and salt are added. You should be able to find Italian panko or panko easily at your local grocery store.
  • Only have plain panko? Mix ½ cup panko with ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt and ½ tablespoon Italian seasoning (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano and ¼ teaspoon each dried basil and thyme).
Butter Lettuce Salad

More green salads

Butter lettuce is one of our favorite types of salad greens. But there are so many more to explore! Here are a few more tasty green salad recipes and spring salads:

This butter lettuce salad recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free panko. For vegan, use Cilantro Sauce, Vegan Ranch or Vegan Caesar Dressing.

Print

Butter Lettuce Salad

Butter Lettuce Salad



  • Author:
    Sonja Overhiser

  • icon clock Prep Time:
    15 minutes

  • icon clock Cook Time:
    0 minutes

  • icon clock Total Time:
    15 minutes

  • icon cutlery Yield:
    4

Description

This crisp butter lettuce salad is simple and fresh! Dress this delicate lettuce with Parmesan dressing, chives and breadcrumbs.


Ingredients

  • 5 ounces butter lettuce (Bibb lettuce or Boston lettuce)
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 handful cherry tomatoes (or radishes)
  • 1 handful fresh chives
  • ¼ cup Italian panko*
  • ½ cup Parmesan Peppercorn Dressing (recipe below)
  • Parmesan shavings, for garnish (optional)

For the Parmesan Dressing

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon each kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon water


Instructions

  1. Wash and dry the lettuce (a salad spinner makes quick work). Then tear it into pieces.
  2. Thinly slice the shallot. Slice or quarter the cherry tomatoes or thinly slice the radishes. Finely chop the chives.
  3. Make the Parmesan dressing: whisk together the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, grated Parmesan cheese, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt, black pepper and water until a creamy dressing forms.
  4. Place the butter lettuce on salad plates or a large platter. Top with the sliced tomatoes or radishes, shallot, chives, and Parmesan cheese shavings. Drizzle with about ½ cup of the dressing and sprinkle with Italian panko.

Notes

*Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb mixture that is airier and lighter than traditional breadcrumbs. It has a crunchy texture which is more satisfying on salads (breadcrumbs are much finer with almost a sand-like texture). “Italian” means herbs and salt are added. You should be able to find Italian panko or plain panko easily at your local grocery store (often they also sell gluten-free). If all you have is plain panko, you can season it: mix ½ cup panko with ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt and ½ tablespoon Italian seasoning (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano and ¼ teaspoon each dried basil and thyme).

  • icon folderCategory: Salad
  • icon squaresMethod: Raw
  • icon flagCuisine: Salad
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Butter lettuce salad, lettuce salad

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Leave a Reply