Butter Lettuce Salad with Lemon-Tarragon Vinaigrette

Chef Casey Lane shares his recipe

Casey Lane has been one busy chef lately. His new English-themed restaurant, the Parish, has been packed to the pickles since it opened downtown last week, he is developing an Italian venture for Melrose called Itri, and he’s still in charge of the menu over at one of our Venice favorites, the Tasting Kitchen. But in the midst of it all he found the time to share with us the recipe for his ultimate summer salad: a tower of firm butter lettuce dressed ever so evenly with lemon-tarragon vinaigrette. It’s the kind of thing you can toss just before a big dinner party or mix up quickly for a summer Sunday lunch. You can also find it on the menus at Parish and Tasting Kitchen while the season permits.

 Yields about 6 salads

 Lemon-Tarragon Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon minced shallot
1/2 cup lemon juice
2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup cream
1 tablespoon minced tarragon
1 tablespoon minced chives

1 tablespoon black pepper
Salt to taste

1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
10 thin slices of radish
1/3 cup mixed herbs
1 head butter lettuce (in petals)


Macerate shallots in lemon juice

Whisk in olive oil followed by cream, tarragon, chives,  pepper, and salt

Place the washed and dried lettuce petals in a separate bowl, pour the dressing onto the outer edge of the bowl to mix

To plate the salad begin with the largest petal on the bottom and continue to stack with smaller pieces

Top salad with blue cheese, radish, and herbs

Tips from Chef Casey Lane

The cream in this recipe balances out the acidity from the lemon. Continue whisking while building the dressing to emulsify and avoid breaking. To avoid overdressing, pour the dressing onto the bowl not the leaves. Massage the dressing into each individual petal to make sure the salad is evenly dressed.