Ottolenghi’s Perfect Lettuce Salad
Ottolenghi’s Perfect Lettuce Salad is great for a special dinner and this interesting lettuce salad has a wonderful combination of flavors. And if you’re a fan of the creative food combinations from chef Yotam Ottolenghi, I bet you’ll make this salad over and over.
I’ve been a long-time fan of well-known chef Yotam Ottolenghi, and I recently got his second book, Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi (affiliate link). Within minutes of opening the book, I knew I wanted to make this creative and interesting lettuce salad.
Ottolenghi’s Perfect Lettuce Salad combines several kind of lettuce, radicchio, radishes, tomatoes, green onions, and capers, and those flavors go perfectly with the lemony vinaigrette he uses in this extra-flavorful salad that’s great for a special occasion. I didn’t have the “semi-dried” tomatoes the recipe asks for (which sound like Slow Roasted Tomatoes) so I used fresh cherry tomatoes cut in half, and I also increased the amount of capers and added a tiny dash of caper brine to the dressing.
Those minor changes only made the salad a little more perfect for my taste, and this is a salad I’ll be making over and over. Admittedly, some ingredients are a bit pricey, but even if you don’t want to splurge on things like butter lettuce or radicchio and decide to modify the recipe even more, please don’t skip the radishes or capers, which are two of the things that I love most about this salad.
Who is Ottolenghi?
Yotam Ottolenghi is a brilliantly creative London food personality who’s famous for his simple-but-profound flavor combinations. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I ordered Ottolenghi: The Cookbook (affiliate link) a few years ago, but I was captivated by his food and I’ve been buying his cookbooks and trying his recipes ever since. I’m not sure how many cookbooks he has now, but I have five of them on my book shelves!
What Ingredients do you need for this recipe?
(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- butter lettuce
- green or red leaf lettuce
- green onions
- cherry tomatoes
- Capers (affiliate link)
- garlic clove
- fresh-squeezed lemon juice, I used my fresh-frozen lemon juice
- caper brine (from the jar)
- olive oil
- Grapeseed Oil (affiliate link) (or more olive oil)
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
What makes this lettuce salad so perfect?
I’ve already mentioned how much I love the radishes and capers in this perfect lettuce salad. But I also love the use of three different kinds of lettuce, the cherry tomatoes, and the garlicky lemony dressing that has caper brine!
How to make Ottolenghi’s Perfect Lettuce Salad :
(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- Start with one small head of butter lettuce, torn apart, washed, and spun dry.
- Ottolenghi specified “curly lettuce” for the second type. I used green leaf, but next time I might choose red leaf.
- I thought the vibrant color and flavor of radicchio was a great addition to the salad.
- Use a generous amount of green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal.
- I like radishes cut in half-moon shapes instead of the circles Ottolenghi used.
- I used a cup of cherry tomatoes, cut in half. If you want a lower-carb version of this salad you can definitely skip the tomatoes.
- Stir together crushed garlic, fresh lemon juice, and a dash of caper brine, then whisk in olive oil and Grapeseed Oil (affiliate link) to make the dressing.
- Toss together all the fresh vegetables. I was only making salad for two people, so I put half in a bowl and tossed with half the dressing, saving the rest for another meal.
- And top each serving of salad with a generous spoonful of Capers (affiliate link).
More Interesting Salads with Lettuce:
- Fattoush Lebanese Salad
- American Greek Salad with Lettuce
- Peperoncini Chopped Salad with Romaine, Peppers, and Feta
- Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, and Avocado Salad
- Purslane Salad with Lettuce, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, and Mint
- 1 small head butter lettuce, torn, washed, and spun dry
- 1/2 head green or red leaf lettuce, torn, washed, and spun dry
- 1 small head radicchio, core removed and thinly sliced
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced on an angle
- 1 bunch radishes, cleaned and cut into half-moon slices
- 1 cup (or more) cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 2-3 T capers
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 1/2 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. caper brine
- 1 1/2 T olive oil
- 1 1/2 T grapeseed oil
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Tear the lettuces, wash and spin dry or dry with paper towels.
- Slice the radicchio, green onions, and radishes, and cut tomatoes in half.
- Put all salad vegetables into a bowl big enough to toss the salad in.
- Measure out capers into a small bowl. (You can rinse the capers if desired, but I didn’t.)
- Stir together the crushed garlic, lemon juice, and caper brine, then whisk in the olive oil and grapeseed oil a little at a time until the dressing is well-emulsified.
- Add salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
- Toss the salad with the dressing so all ingredients are lightly coated with dressing.
- Divide among four individual salad bowls and top each serving with a generous spoonful of capers.
If you don’t need four servings of salad, I would prepare the lettuce, radicchio, green onions, and radishes, then cut only enough tomatoes for the amount you need. The undressed salad minus tomatoes should keep in the refrigerator for several days.
Recipe adapted very slightly from Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi. (affiliate link)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 120Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 475mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Every ingredient in Ottolenghi’s Perfect Lettuce Salad is great for low-carb and Keto diets and for all phases of the original South Beach Diet and this amazing lettuce salad is also gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and Paleo!
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Salad Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This creative lettuce salad recipe was first posted in 2011 when I purchased my first-ever Ottolenghi cookbook. It was last updated with more information in 2023.