See more
Photo: Leigh Beisch; Styling: Merilee Bordin Photo by: Photo: Leigh Beisch; Styling: Merilee Bordin

Asparagus and Butterhead Lettuce Salad

The texture of butterhead lettuce keeps this salad light and delicate. Prep Time: 30 minutes. Notes: You can use any tender, sweet lettuce in place of butterhead. Find perlini mozzarella at specialty grocery stores and Italian markets, or use a 4-oz. piece of fresh mozzarella grated on the large holes of a box grater or cut into 1/4-in. pieces.

Sunset MARCH 2008

  • Yield: Makes 4 servings


  • 1 bunch asparagus (about 1 lb.)
  • 2 heads butterhead lettuce such as Boston or Bibb (see Notes)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly shredded lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 4 ounces perlini mozzarella (tiny balls; see Notes)
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts


1. Hold the end of an asparagus stalk and bend until it snaps off. Repeat with remaining stalks and discard woody ends. Slice trimmed spears on the diagonal into 1/8-in. lengths, leaving tips about 1 in. long.

2. Remove and discard outer leaves of lettuce heads. Tear remaining leaves into bite-size pieces. Rinse and dry. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt, lemon zest, pepper, and dry mustard until creamy-looking.

4. In a large bowl, toss lettuce with 3 tbsp. dressing. Divide lettuce among 4 salad plates. Toss asparagus pieces with remaining dressing and spoon over lettuces, dividing evenly. Sprinkle salads with perlini and pine nuts. Serve immediately.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 240
  • Calories from fat: 75%
  • Protein: 11g
  • Fat: 20g
  • Saturated fat: 6.4g
  • Carbohydrate: 7.2g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sodium: 411mg
  • Cholesterol: 25mg

Go to Full Version of

Asparagus and Butterhead Lettuce Salad Recipe