Butter Leaf Salad with Citrus Dressing
This salad is the perfect winter salad because it combines citrus with the delicate, buttery winter lettuce named after it’s smooth texture. Butter leaf lettuce can often be found in a plastic case in the salad section with the leaves still attached to the root. Other grocery stores sell it by the head in the same section as red leaf and green leaf lettuce heads. I thought of this salad as part of a Valentine’s Day menu that men can make for their special someone because it’s super easy but light and seasonal, too. The dressing, which is similar to a creamy citrus dressing I use for my citrus slaw (but a little different because it’s a salad dressing in this case) can be made a day ahead. And you can use store bought candied nuts (either pecans or walnuts) to make it even easier, or make your own. I like to candy mine using honey and a touch of cardamom and cinnamon. Simply whisk some honey with the spices and about 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and then add the nuts to it to coat. Place in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast on 325 for about 15-18 minutes. You can store the nuts in an air tight container and make them ahead of time, too. Make extra. They are good snacks.
Look for the full Valentines Day Menu which will include a Manchego cheese and apple appetizer course with pepper jelly or fig jam, this salad, the puff pastry pizza, and tips on how to create an easy dessert bar using store bought items dressed up to make them your own. In the meantime…give this salad a try for any weeknight meal or family gathering. You can easily double or triple for more people.
- 1/2 head butter leaf lettuce, torn into large bite-sized pieces
- 1 naval orange (zest used for dressing, inside orange segments used for the salad)
- 1 small or 1/2 large ripe avocado, sliced
- 1/3 cup candied nuts (walnut or pecan)
- 1 recipe Creamy Citrus Dressing (see below)
- Salt & Pepper
- Cream Citrus Dressing
- 1 Tablespoon exra vigin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
- 3 teaspoons zest of naval orange
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest and 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons diced shallot
- Salt & Pepper
- Make the dressing by combining the olive oil, mayo, zest of the orange and lemons, sugar, and vinegar in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Add in the shallots and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use
- On each plate place half the torn lettuce leaves. Segment the orange, carefully, using a shar knife. Remove the outside skin and cut in between the pith, removing the pieces of orange. It's okay if they break a little.
- Place the orange segments and avocado slices on each plate and then sprinkle with the candied nuts. Dress the salads only just before serving. Can be assembled and covered tightly with saran wrap before dressing them for about 30-min to 1 hr.