This autumnal butter lettuce salad is simply delightful. Butter lettuce, radicchio, fennel, and radishes are a peppery and slightly sweet combination, topped with parmesan cheese for a creamy, salty finish. This simple tossed green salad comes together in minutes and is the perfect addition to your fall dinner table. Easy enough for weeknights, elegant enough for a more extravagant holiday dinner.
A well balanced tossed green salad gives me all the feels – both culinary and nostalgic.
I grew up eating a tossed green salad with dinner every single night. My parents or grandparents would pull fresh lettuces, tomatoes, and cucumbers from the garden and drench them with homemade red wine vinaigrette.
Naturally I declined the offering as a child, but by the time I was a young adult I had latched onto the salad-with-dinner tradition with gusto. It’s a simple, elegant end to a meal (we rocked our salad after the meal, Italian-style) and the perfect fast and easy way to fit just a few more veggies into the day.
These days I still serve salad after the meal, but the variety of greens that grace our plates has vastly expanded to include bitter greens in the winter, heirloom greens in the summer, and everything in between. This sweet and peppery autumnal butter lettuce salad is my current obsession.
Red butter lettuce, radicchio, fennel, and radishes get tossed with a mustard champagne vinaigrette and dusted with just a touch of parmesan cheese. It’s a little bit fancy. A lotta bit tasty. Satisfyingly crunchy. And so easy.
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How to Make This Butter Lettuce Salad
Say hello to your newest crunchy companion. This autumn crunch butter lettuce salad is peppery, a little sweet, and of course packed with the most satisfying crunch.
You’ll need a head of butter lettuce and a head of radicchio. Chop both to your desired size, and make sure you wash and thoroughly dry the leaves.
Toss the salad base with some very thinly sliced fennel and radishes. A vegetable mandoline is quite useful here.
And now we toss. Add a little seasoning, vinaigrette to taste, and some shaved parmesan cheese.
This salad comes together in five, maybe ten minutes tops. Undressed it keeps quite well in the fridge, and I’ve been crunching on it for a few days now. Serve it with dinner, add a bit of protein for a packed lunch, or offer it up as part of a feast, like Thanksgiving dinner. It’s a colorful, seasonal addition to any fall dinner table.
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Autumn Butter Lettuce Salad
- 1 head butter lettuce chopped, washed, and dried
- 1 small head radicchio quartered, cored, and sliced
- 1 bulb fennel bulb only, thinly sliced
- 6 radishes thinly sliced
- 2 oz shaved parmesan cheese
- cracked black pepper to taste
- In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard, honey, and salt. Slowly drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil and whisk until emulsified. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt or honey until the dressing tastes balanced.
- Chop the lettuce and radicchio. Place into a colander and rinse throughly under cold running water. Dry in a salad spinner.
- Thinly slice the fennel and radishes using a sharp knife or vegetable mandoline.
- Toss the chopped lettuce and radicchio with the fennel and radishes.
- Portion the salad onto side plates and season with cracked black pepper to taste. Drizzle with dressing to taste, then top with parmesan cheese. Serve immediately. This salad keeps undressed in the fridge for up to 3 days. To preserve crunchiness, store in a loosely covered container layered with pieces of paper towel to absorb moisture.
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