I recently took my wife out for dinner at one of our favorite little French restaurants. Among the many delicious foods we ate was a butter lettuce salad. It was one of the simplest, most delicious salads I've ever had, so I took some notes and then set out to recreate it at home.
Butter leaf lettuce
Apple, thinly sliced
Goat cheese, crumbled
Mandarin orange slices
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup champagne vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Whisk together the garlic, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper
In a large bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients except the olive oil. Once the ingredients are well-mixed, slowly whisk in the olive oil until the dressing is emulsified.
In place of a whisk, I sometimes like to use a blender or a food processor and simply pureé all of the ingredients until smooth. Either way makes a good dressing.
Thoroughly wash and dry the lettuce leaves. If the leaves are large, tear them into large pieces and place into a bowl. If the leaves are small enough, you may use them whole. Toss the leaves with a bit of the dressing.
Cut slices from a nice, sweet, crisp apple, such as a Braeburn or a Fuji apple, and add four slices to each bowl.
Crumble goat cheese over the lettuce and apples.
Add a few candied walnuts and a few skies of mandarin orange.