Way back in 2012 I was on a honey kick. I never left it. Honey is a wonderful ingredient. Just a tricky one because the bounty of honey flavors out there can produce significant shifts in the final outcome of a recipe. Here, no shift will matter. We are at peak season now for so many wonderful foods. Corn, of course, but also lettuce. People may overlook the small head of butter lettuce but this recipe will give you an outcome sure to please.


Here is the next step in our honey-based spring holiday menu. This salad features butter lettuce, a delicious but too often overlooked set of greens. Butter lettuce heads are smallish so for 4 people, this recipe calls for 3 heads.

The vinaigrette, with tarragon and citrus, offers intense flavor. As a result, this salad has the “legs” to stand on its own with any dish, like that lamb or ham you are thinking about for this weekend.

Like many a good salad, the work here is all in the vinaigrette and this dish can be quickly prepared for your holiday table.


Butter Lettuce Salad with Tarragon and Citrus-Honey Vinaigrette

Servings: serves 4 generously

Ingredients:

  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 head butter lettuce (aka Boston lettuce or Bibb lettuce)
  • ½ cup fresh cut tarragon leaves

Preparation:

Whisk the lemon zest and juice, lime zest and juice, honey and mustard in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the canola oil while whisking constantly until completely emulsified.

Trim off the core from each head of lettuce and separate the leaves, discarding the tough outer leaves. Rinse the lettuce leaves in a large bowl of cold water and spin dry. Place the lettuce leaves in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the tarragon leaves and gently toss the lettuce with enough vinaigrette to coat lightly.

Stack the lettuce leaves on 4 plates, starting each stack with the larger outer leaves on the bottom and ending with the small inner leaves on top. Serve immediately.


Source: Avec Eric by Erick Rupert [Houghton Mifflin, 2010]

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/5.6 for 1/3200th second at ISO‑3200