I have made this three-ingredient salad to go with everything from steak to beer-can chicken to omelets, stews and soups.
It is deceptively simple but relies on the absolute best ingredients for it to be a success. That is, fresh butter lettuce fleur de sel (coarse sea salt from Brittany) and the very best first cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil you can find.
It’s based on the simple French “salade verte” (green salad), a dish traditionally made with butter lettuce and a mustard-rich, perfectly emulsified vinaigrette. The dressing is creamy and clings lightly to the lettuce, accenting the sweet, delicate leaves with just the right amount of tang.
The only downside is that the dressing is difficult to duplicate and sadly, these days — even in France — cafes may use bottled dressing instead of homemade.
I stumbled on my version when I found one of my favorite olive oils from Italy was now available in the U.S. Boston lettuce, sprinkled with fleur de sel and drizzled with a few teaspoons of my new olive oil was perfect! No vinegar necessary. Fresh, clean and luxurious… thus the name.
LUXURIOUS LETTUCE SALAD
By Elizabeth Karmel
- 1 head Boston or butter lettuce, washed and dried
- A few pinches fleur de sel (or another good coarse sea salt)
- Best quality first cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
- Ground pepper, to taste (optional)
Place lettuce leaves in a large bowl, sprinkle with about 2 pinches of sea salt. Toss.
Drizzle with 1-2 teaspoons (or more to taste) of olive oil, toss very well to coat all the leaves.
Let sit 5 minutes and toss again. Add a little more oil if the leaves are not coated, but be careful not to use too much oil, otherwise the salad will be heavy and the lettuce will get soggy.
Add freshly ground pepper if desired. Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 53 calories, 5 g total fat, 1 g saturated fats, no cholesterol, 244 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 1 g protein.