Ottolenghi’s Perfect Lettuce Salad
Ottolenghi’s Perfect Lettuce Salad has the best combination of flavors, just like all his recipes do! And this amazing salad is low-carb, South Beach Diet friendly, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo, and Whole 30 and if you omit tomatoes it can be Keto! Use the Recipes-by-Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.
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 a few years ago, but I was captivated by his food. Then after waiting months while it was on back-order, I recently got his second book, Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi. Within minutes of opening the book, I knew I wanted to make this salad.
Ottolenghi’s Lettuce Salad recipe combines several kind of lettuce, radicchio, radishes, tomatoes, green onions, and capers, and I think those flavors go perfectly with the lemony vinaigrette he uses. I’ve never seen the “semi-dried” tomatoes the recipe asks for 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 of the ingredients are a little more pricey than I usually choose for salad, 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.
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. (Thanks to a reader named Robyn who helped me realize that what Ottolenghi calls “semi-dried tomatoes” are Slow Roasted Tomatoes.) 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 to make the dressing. (For Paleo, use your preferred oil.) 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.
More Great Salad Ideas with Lettuce:
Mediterranean Salad with Hummus Dressing from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Fattoush (Lebanese Crumbled Bread Salad with Sumac and Pita Chips) from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Miner’s Lettuce Salad from WrightFood
Ridiculously Easy Grilled Romaine Salad from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Spring Lettuce Salad with Roasted Asparagus from Recipe Girl
Ottolenghi's Perfect Lettuce Salad
Ottolenghi’s Perfect Lettuce Salad has the best combination of flavors, just like all his recipes do!
- 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.
Low-Carb Diet Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Every ingredient in Ottolenghi’s Perfect Lettuce Salad is perfect for all phases of the South Beach Diet or most any type of low-carb eating plan and this amazing salad is also gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and Paleo!
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
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