I love this little gem lettuce salad with buttermilk herb dressing. It looks really pretty arranged in a radial pattern on a plate, and it takes very little time to prepare. It’s easy to buy lettuce leaves pre-washed and pre-packaged, but they’re packed in plastic, and they don’t last long. If you a buy a whole lettuce with its roots still attached, you get more value for money, and usually a much fresher product, especially if you buy it from a local market, such as https://farmerandson.com.au where I buy my produce every week. The buttermilk dressing can be made ahead with a few of your favourite herbs. I used chives and dill from my garden.
Little gem is a small lettuce often described as a cross between a butter lettuce and romaine. Romaine has a heavy crunchy central stalk and thin crisp leaves, whereas the little gem has a thinner stalk and thicker, juicier leaves. If the outer leaves are too scrappy to use, don’t throw them out. Save them to put in a simple soup: Pea and Lettuce Soup with Mint and Chives
I served this salad for my annual ladies’ lunch, together with: Poached Chicken Breasts with Almond Sauce
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Little Gem Lettuce with Buttermilk Herb Dressing
- 6 little gem lettuces
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (add 1/2 tsp lemon juice to 1/2 cup full-cream milk to make your own buttermilk)
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 handful chopped herbs I used dill and chives
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
- For the dressing, shake all the ingredients together in a jar and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- When ready to serve, remove the roots and halve the lettuces (or quarter them if they're a little large), then rinse with water.
- Arrange, cut side up on the plate and pour dressing over the top. Serve immediately.