Hands down every time, this is what I make if I’m going to have a salad as a starter. The blue cheese is creamy and sharp, rich and fresh, and the dressing has little bit of heat from the whole-grain mustard. Classic.–Andrew Swallow
Butter Lettuce with Maytag Blue Cheese
For the dressing
For the salad
- 2 heads butter lettuce
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup Maytag blue cheese*, or feel free to substitute Gorgonzola or Roquefort
- 4 shallots, finely diced
- Leaves from 1 bunch tarragon
- Leaves from 1 bunch chervil
Make the dressing
- Combine the vinegar, shallots, and mustard in a blender. With the motor running, add the olive oil, a few drops at a time at first and then gradually increasing to a slight but steady stream, and blend until emulsified. Repeat with the grapeseed oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Make the salad
- Wash the lettuce and separate the leaves. For each serving, toss 5 large leaves with 2 tablespoons of the dressing. Taste and season accordingly with salt and pepper.
- Place the leaves for each serving on individual plates, stacking them from largest to smallest. Sprinkle each stack with 2 tablespoons blue cheese, 1 tablespoon diced shallot, 1 teaspoon tarragon leaves, and 1 teaspoon chervil leaves.
*What can I substitute for Maytag blue cheese?If you can’t source any Maytag blue cheese, as the chef suggests, not to worry. Gorgonzola or Roquefort work just as well.
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This salad is a great study in layering a few flavors to create something that is way more than the sum of its parts. Each ingredient plays a critical role in making this salad so delicious—the crunch of the shallot, the zing from the mustard, the savory of the blue cheese. Yet it’s really the herbs, particularly the tarragon, that make this salad so wonderful. You could serve this as a side dish to all sorts of grilled meat. Absolutely worth a try.