Spring Lettuce Recipes

Skip the mesclun in the grocery store aisle and instead celebrate the newly sprouted baby lettuces, buttery leaves of bibb, and fresh herbs that begin to appear at local farmers' markets in the spring. Pair these versatile greens with everything from goose confit and figs to fresh peas and green garlic.

Sicilian Fennel Salad with Oranges, Arugula, and Black Olives
In Sicily, this salad is traditionally prepared with wild chicory, a slightly peppery, tender-leafed green. Substitute with arugula if you can't find wild chicory. See the recipe for Sicilian Fennel Salad with Oranges, Arugula, and Black Olives »M. Ferruccio Carassale
See the RecipeChristopher Hirsheimer
Lobster Ceviche with Limestone Lettuce
Lobster Ceviche with Limestone Lettuce
This recipe, which came from noted chef Nobu Matsuhisa, is typical of the cross-cultural innovations that made him such a success. Get the recipe for Lobster Ceviche with Limestone Lettuce »Nicole Franzen
Crunchy Spring Salad
This recipe comes from Margo True's piece ¿The Accidental Pioneer" (April 2005) about Laura Chenel, the pioneering cheese maker who created American chevre. Chenel advised us to use the juice of Meyer lemons--in season from winter through late spring--to dress this salad. See the recipe for Crunchy Spring Salad »Ben Fink
Peas and Lettuce
Blanched Peas with Lettuce
Leaves of baby bibb lettuce become nests for single servings of barely cooked fresh green peas, making for a light and simple side dish.Anita Calero
Watercress Salad with Ranch Dressing
Ranch dressing was originally sold by its inventor, Steve Henson, as a seasoning packet that contained, among other ingredients, dehydrated garlic, dehydrated onion, black pepper, and dried parsley; all cooks had to do was add mayonnaise and buttermilk. Our version uses fresh herbs, but fresh garlic and onion won't do: only the dried powders produce this dressing's characteristic flavor. See the recipe for Watercress Salad with Ranch Dressing»André Baranowski
See the RecipeAndré Baranowski
mesclun salad
See the RecipeFarideh Sadeghin
Salade Lyonnaise
Salade Lyonnaise
Hailing from Lyon, this French bistro standard gathers a delectable trio of bitter frisée, runny poached egg, and crisp lardons.Andre Baranowski
See the RecipeKurt E. Smith
See the RecipeAndré Baranowski
Fresh Peas With Lettuce and Green Garlic
Fresh Peas With Lettuce and Green Garlic
This side dish from Andrea Reusing's Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes (Clarkson Potter, 2011) is the essence of summer: emerald green vegetables cooked together briefly, until their flavors just meld.Todd Coleman
Quinoa Salad with Frisee, Eggplant, and Corn
Quinoa Salad with Frisee, Eggplant, and Corn
Glazed eggplant, corn, and a bright lime vinaigrette join quinoa and lacy frisée for a summery side dish that's perfect for picnics.Anna Stockwell
Goose Confit and Fig Salad
Goose Confit and Fig Salad
For this luxurious salad, top spicy arugula with a rich confit of braised goose leg and fresh black mission figs.Todd Coleman
See the RecipeMacKenzie Smith
Kohlrabi and Watercress Salad
Kohlrabi and Watercress Salad
For a twist on the classic Waldorf salad, try tossing sweet apples with crisp watercress and nutty kohlrabi in a sumac-infused yogurt dressing.Helen Rosner
Butter Lettuce Salad with Pistachios and Orange Crème Fraîche Dressing
Butter Lettuce Salad with Pistachios and Orange Crème Fraîche Dressing
A simple salad pairs end-of-season citrus with fresh butter lettuce topped with pistachios.Helen Rosner
Creamy Watercress Dip
Creamy Watercress Dip
Creamy cottage cheese combines with watercress, lemon, chive, and parsley to make this bright dip for raw vegetables.Helen Rosner
Toast with Roasted Beet Dip, Smoked Salmon, and Watercress
Toast with Roasted Beet Dip, Smoked Salmon, and Watercress
Roasting beets and puréeing them with a little balsamic vinegar makes a sweet, earthy spread that's a perfect base for slices of smoked salmon and peppery watercress.Helen Rosner