Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Claire Spollen
Butter lettuce, also called Boston or Bibb lettuce, is delicate; it can bruise and wilt as easily as fresh herbs. Instead of tossing together in a bowl, arrange the lettuce on individual plates before adding other elements. A tip we learned from salt guru Mark Bitterman: Stirring salt into the vinaigrette will wilt lettuces faster. Instead, finish with a sprinkling of flake salt, such as Maldon--the big flakes mimic the lettuce's crisp texture. Late spring yields the most flavorful, tender asparagus; this salad is a great place to use very thin stalks.
Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 1/4 cups)
1. Combine juice, oil, mint, honey, and pepper in a bowl, stirring with a whisk.
2. Divide butter lettuce evenly among 4 plates. Top each serving with 1/4 cup asparagus, 1 tablespoon hazelnuts, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese. Drizzle vinaigrette evenly over salads. Sprinkle evenly with salt.