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.


  • 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


  • Wash and dry the lettuce (a salad spinner makes quick work). Then tear it into pieces.
  • Thinly slice the shallot. Slice or quarter the cherry tomatoes or thinly slice the radishes. Finely chop the chives.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Panko tip

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).

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