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Fall Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

Fall Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

Crisp lettuces and fresh oranges are tossed with a creamy homemade dressing similar to ranch. Feathery fennel fronds make a pretty garnish. Prepare the croutons and dressing the day before; store the croutons at room temperature in a zip-top plastic bag, and put the dressing in the refrigerator. Dress the salad just before serving.

Cooking Light NOVEMBER 2004

  • Yield: 8 servings


  • Croutons:
  • 4 ounces Hawaiian sweet bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Cooking spray
  • Dressing:
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice, divided
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Salad:
  • 4 cups torn Boston lettuce
  • 3 cups thinly sliced fennel bulb (about 1 large bulb)
  • 2 cups torn radicchio
  • 1 1/2 cups orange sections (about 3 oranges)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fennel fronds (optional)


Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare croutons, place the bread cubes on a baking sheet; coat with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp, stirring once. Cool completely.

To prepare dressing, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shallots, cumin, and coriander; sauté 3 minutes or until shallots are tender. Stir in 2 tablespoons orange juice and vinegar; cook 2 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; cool slightly.

Combine remaining 2 tablespoons of orange juice, buttermilk, and next 5 ingredients (through pepper), stirring with a whisk. Stir in shallot mixture.

To prepare salad, combine lettuce, fennel bulb, and radicchio in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing; toss gently to combine. Arrange about 1 1/4 cups salad over each of 8 salad plates; top evenly with orange sections and onion. Sprinkle evenly with croutons and fennel fronds, if desired.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 90
  • Calories from fat: 15%
  • Fat: 1.5g
  • Saturated fat: 0.5g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 0.5g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.2g
  • Protein: 3.1g
  • Carbohydrate: 17g
  • Fiber: 2.5g
  • Cholesterol: 5mg
  • Iron: 1mg
  • Sodium: 160mg
  • Calcium: 64mg