Butter lettuce salad with mustard-shallot vinaigrette

Salads make fast and easy one-plate meals.

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Butter lettuce salad with mustard-shallot vinaigrette

One of my favorite farmers’ market finds is organic butter lettuce. When I shop at farmer’s markets, I don't always know what I'm going to do with the fruits and veggies I bring home until there’s time to think about it around dinner time. 

One of my favorite cookbooks includes one-plate salad meals and pairings of produce with dressings by well-known chef, Joyce Goldstein, called “Mediterranean Fresh.” She gave me permission to share some of her recipes on this site. 

To go with my fresh butter lettuces, I chose a mustardy vinaigrette which was used to marinate warm toasted walnuts chunks straight out of the oven and to dress the lettuce. The addition of farm-fresh cucumber rounded out this excellent salad.

Servings: 6


  • 2 heads of butter lettuce, washed, drained, and dried
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled or not and sliced. (I peel the shiny and warty cucumbers but not English or Armenian cucumbers)
  • 1 cup walnuts chopped into pieces large enough so you can still maneuver them with a fork.
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons finely minced shallot
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Note: To make sure the lettuce is dry, I pull the string on the salad spinner at least 10 times. You would be surprised how much water you still get after 5 spins.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Whisk the mustard, shallots, and red wine vinegar together in a small bowl. 
  3. Whisk in the olive oil. 
  4. Season to taste. 
  5. Toast the walnuts on a baking sheet until they get brown and fragrant, 10-15 minutes. 
  6. Toss the walnuts with some of the dressing and let them absorb the flavors. 
  7. Toss the lettuce, cucumber and walnuts with the remaining dressing and serve. 

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • Calories: 310
  • Total fat: 31 g
  • Saturated fat: 4 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 g
  • Sodium: 158 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 7 g
  • Dietary fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 3 g