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

A salad of butter lettuce with maytag blue cheese on a brown plate.

Butter Lettuce with Maytag Blue Cheese

5 / 2 votes
This butter lettuce with Maytag blue cheese is a modern riff on a classic wedge salad, but even better. Shallots, tarragon, and chervil amp it up even more.
David Leite
Servings4 servings
Calories242 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Total Time15 minutes


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.
Mixt Salads

Adapted From

Mixt Salads

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 242 kcalCarbohydrates: 5 gProtein: 6 gFat: 22 gSaturated Fat: 5 gCholesterol: 13 mgSodium: 288 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 1 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2010 Andrew Swallow. Photo © 2010 Sara Remington. All rights reserved.

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 a grilled Porterhouse steak. Absolutely worth a try.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. LOVE Maytag blue! There are lots of wonderful cheese in the world. Lots of wonderful blues. But the balance and creaminess of Maytag is a unique joy.

    It’s the blue cheese I spread on my leftover turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce every Thanksgiving and the reason I look forward to the leftovers even more than the feast!

    1. We couldn’t agree more, Rainey! And that sounds like a divine turkey sandwich. It’s on my list for next Thanksgiving!