Bibb Lettuce Salad
I came across this salad in Thomas Keller’s Bouchon cookbook and had to try it out. It looked beautiful and also didn’t seem that difficult to make. Yes, it takes a tad bit of time to assemble, but worth the effort (and really doesn’t take that long). The gorgeous floral shape is stunning, making it great for serving company (imagine serving each person their own.) Being at home with just my husband I ate each leaf with my fingers. It was like a sweet, tangy, crunchy, delicious snack, but substantial enough for a meal. I’m hooked on this salad.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Makes: Serves 2 entrées or 4 sides
¼ cup basic vinaigrette (with 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard whisked in)
2 heads Bibb lettuce
1 tablespoons shallots, minced
1 tablespoons chives, minced
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons tarragon leaves, coarsely chopped (or fennel fronds)
2 tablespoons chervil leaves, coarsely chopped (or marjoram or basil)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Stir 1 1/2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard into 1/2 cup basic vinaigrette dressing.
It’s easiest to build each salad separately, since you will be reassembling the head of lettuce.
Carefully remove the core from the first head of lettuce. Place the leaves in cold water to rinse away dirt and refresh the leaves. Spin the lettuce dry in a salad spinner.
Place the leaves in a large bowl. Sprinkle the leaves with a bit of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Sprinkle half the minced shallots, half the minced chives, 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley, 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon, and 1 tablespoon chopped chervil.
Drizzle 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette and 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice over the lettuce leaves.
Gently toss the leaves with your hands.
Now, starting with the largest leaves, rebuild the head of lettuce in a shallow bowl or plate starting with the outermost leaves and ending inside with the smallest leaves.
Serve one per person for a main entrée or 1 for every two people for a side.