I know that Bibb lettuce is generally available in grocery stores year round, but somehow it always reminds me of spring. I think it’s it delicate texture and light color. For sure it’s a lettuce that needs to be treated gently, used in a simple way so as not to overwhelm and dressed sparingly. Known under the names Boston, Butter and Bibb lettuce (all basically the same lettuce), it is a variety of head lettuce and grow in a rounded cluster that sits low to the ground and are about the size of an adult human head. Its leaves tend to be clustered loosely together, and it transitions from a creamy pale green when it sprouts into a bright vibrant hue by the time it is ready to harvest.
I love this lettuce for Asian lettuce wraps since they hold their shape, cup without breaking and, frankly are beautiful. But my favorite way to use these lovely leaves is in salad…the simpler the better. It makes a welcome change from the Iceberg and Romaine of the winter.
Simple Spring Salad
2 heads of Butter/Bibb/Boston lettuce (I like the hydroponically grown)
3 ½ TBL. of good extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 TBL. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. honey
Kosher and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 TBL. chopped fresh chives
1 TBL. chopped fresh leaf parsley
1 TBL. chopped tarragon or chervil
- Gently separate the leaves, leaving the smaller leaves whole and the larger leaves gently tear in half.
- Wash under cold running water and pat dry or wrap up in a cotton towel or paper towels while you finish the rest of the salad. You want these leaves nice and dry.
- In a small bowl whisk together the oil, mustard, honey salt and pepper to make a vinaigrette.
- Put the lettuce, chives, parsley and tarragon into a large salad bowl add the dressing, toss and serve.
Be sure to gauge the amount of dressing used on this salad. It should not be drenched and when the salad is finished there should not be a puddle of dressing in the bottom of the bowl.