Bibb Lettuce and Radish Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

The little black dress of salads, this simple Bibb lettuce salad has no exotic ingredients and is dressed with a buttermilk salad dressing that can be doubled or tripled and kept in the refrigerator until needed. Fresh crisp radishes and the delicate onion flavor of snipped chives and lots of coarsely ground black pepper grace the completed salad.

Bibb lettuce, a cultivar of the butterhead lettuce family, has large loose buttery-textured leaves with a slightly sweet  flavor with colors ranging from pale green to pale yellow green. The lettuce is quite fragile and requires gentle handling of the leaves when washing. Unwashed Bibb lettuce can be kept stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, but once washed should be used immediately. When buying Bibb lettuce, avoid broken wilted leaves. Original recipe here (Food and Wine).

Bibb Lettuce and Radish Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
Serves 8

For the salad

3 large heads Bibb or Boston lettuce, leaves washed and dried

6-8 large radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup snipped fresh chives
Freshly ground black pepper

For the Dressing
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large bowl, toss together the lettuce with the radishes and chives. To make the dressing, whisk the buttermilk, mayonnaise and red wine vinegar until smooth. Gradually whisk in olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss gently. Sprinkle freshly ground pepper over and serve.


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  1. Kristen
    September 6, 2011 / 1:20 am

    Great classic salad. Despite all of the cookbooks I have, I love to turn to comforting salads like this one. Everyone loves buttermilk dressing!

  2. Tres Delicious
    September 6, 2011 / 5:35 pm

    The salad looks great. nice picture. Looks really nice.

  3. Jessica
    September 6, 2011 / 10:27 pm

    With this Summer heat still raging on I need more beautiful salads like this in my life! Sounds perfect!

  4. Lynne
    September 8, 2011 / 10:21 am

    Kristen-I agree! I have tons of salad recipes, but this one is so simple and delicious.Tres Delicious-thanksJessica-the salad is perfect for summer with the fresh radishes and chives. Thanks.

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