Butter lettuce is tender and soft which makes it a perfect base for the juicy and sweet strawberries perfumed beautifully with a lime, raspberry vinaigrette.
This light and refreshing summer salad is quite delicate so it would be best served with poultry or seafood. Perfect with an aromatic poached chicken breast.
- Salad Spinner
For the salad…
- 150 grams butter lettuce
- 250 grams strawberries (1 punnet plus a few extra to garnish)
- 1 red onion, small
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds, toasted
For the vinaigrette…
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 2 tbsps raspberry vinegar
- 1-2 kaffir lime
- 1 tbsp lime zest (approximately 2 limes)
- Sliced strawberries and sliced limes to garnish.
- Cut off the roots and core of your butter lettuce, then wash by submerging them in water. Then either gently pat them dry with a towel or spin dry in a salad spinner. Gently tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Wash your strawberries, hull them, then cut them in half. Transfer to your bowl.
- Remove the papery skin from the onion, cut off the top and bottom, then dice finely. Transfer to your bowl.
- Add all the dressing ingredients in a glass jar and shake until emulsified.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and season with salt and pepper, mix well, taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste.
- Arrange in a salad platter and serve immediately, garnish with the extra strawberries and lime slices. Serve and enjoy.
The video in this recipe is courtesy of Honey Pie’s Recipes.
Butter lettuce is grown hydroponically and is sold with the roots attached in plastic sleeves.
Butter vs. Iceberg Lettuce
Butter lettuce has a loose, roundish head with tender, silky leaves that has a sweet and buttery flavour (hence its name). Iceberg lettuce forms a tight, cabbage-like head with a crisp texture and a mild flavour.
Butter lettuce contains calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium and is also a good source of vitamins A and K.
Choosing and prepping…
Look for leafy rosettes that are dense and heavy for their size, avoid those with wilted, brown or damaged leaves.
To prepare, cut off the roots and cut out the core, as it is loose leafed the leaves should come apart fairly easily.
Either fill your sink or a large bowl with cold water. then submerge the leaves gently. Agitate the leaves, until all the dirt has been removed, then gently lift the leaves so you do not disturb the dirt that has settled at the bottom. Drain the water and repeat as many times as necessary to ensure that all the dirt has been removed.
Then either gently pat them dry with a towel or spin dry in a salad spinner as the drier leaves allow your dressing to adhere to the salad leaves for a much tastier salad.
For this salad simple tear, the leaves into bite-sized pieces.
Strawberries, so named because they are grown bedded in straw, are grown all year round in all states of Australia but are at their best and sweetest during the summer months. While they are classified as berries they are not actually a true berry, but rather a greatly enlarged stem end of the plant’s flower.
They’re an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese and also contain good amounts of folate (vitamin B9) and potassium. They are very rich in antioxidants and plant compounds, which may have benefits for heart health and blood sugar control.
Choosing and prepping…
Select bright, fresh looking berries that are firm and shiny. Avoid shrivelled, dried up or mouldy berries. Soggy strawberries mean that they are past their prime so avoid those as well. Where possible choose organic as strawberries can be pesticide-laden.
Most strawberries are fairly clean so a good rinse in a colander under cold running water will do. Do not soak your strawberries as they will become waterlogged.
Shake them to remove excess water, pat dry with paper towels. Hull the berries by removing the green cap and stem using a paring or small kitchen knife. For this recipe simply cut them in half.