There is an elegance in the simplicity of some green salads; Bibb Lettuce Salad is a great example. Delicate, buttery lettuce leaves tossed in a vibrant Parmesan Vinaigrette and topped with crunchy walnuts offer a refreshing contrast of textures and flavors.
It's the kind of salad that effortlessly complements any meal, whether you're setting the table for a special occasion or looking to add a touch of sophistication to a weekday dinner. With just a handful of pantry staples, you'll be serving this versatile dish in about 10 minutes.
Ingredients You Need to Make Bibb Lettuce Salad
- Bibb Lettuce: Look for leaves that are crisp and vibrant in color without any brown or wilted edges.
- White Wine Vinegar: Choose a clear vinegar with a sharp, tangy aroma. A slight cloudiness or sediment might indicate a natural, unfiltered variety.
- Dijon Mustard: Choose one with a smooth and creamy texture and a strong, spicy aroma.
- Garlic: Look for firm cloves with a smooth skin, avoiding any that are soft, shriveled, or have green sprouts.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: It should have a color ranging from golden-yellow to bright green, with a fruity or grassy aroma.
- Parmesan Cheese: Look for hard blocks instead of pre-grated varieties for the most robust flavor.
- Walnuts: They should be plump and uniform in size. Make sure they have a fresh smell and aren't shriveled.
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Tearing vs. Cutting: Tear Bibb lettuce by hand, discarding any damaged or wilted outer leaves and using the crisp inner ones. Tearing delays the edges from turning brown compared to cutting.
- Washing and Drying Lettuce: Immerse Bibb lettuce leaves in cold water to remove dirt. Lift them out, then repeat until water is clear. Dry using a salad spinner or by patting with a kitchen towel to keep the salad crisp and the dressing undiluted.
- Cheese on Top: If you're adding extra Parmesan cheese for serving, try using a vegetable peeler to create thin shavings for visual appeal.
- Storing Leftover Salad Dressing: If you have leftover Parmesan Vinaigrette, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Give it a good shake or whisk before using it again, as separation is natural.
- Toasting Walnuts: For an extra layer of flavor, lightly toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat. Toast just until they're fragrant and slightly golden and transfer to a bowl or plate immediately to keep them from burning.
- Swap out Bibb lettuce for other tender leaves with mild flavor like Boston or Butter lettuce if Bibb isn't available.
- For a different acidic kick, replace white wine vinegar with apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice.
- Whole grain mustard can be a flavorful alternative for Dijon, lending a slightly different texture and visual appeal with its grainy bits.
- Asiago or Pecorino Romano can be good alternatives to Parmesan cheese, both offering a slightly different but still robust cheesy flavor.
- Add crumbled feta, goat cheese or blue cheese for a creamy, tangy contrast to the salad.
- Pecans or almonds can stand in for walnuts, each bringing their own unique taste and crunch to the salad.
- For a splash of deep color and herbaceous aroma, add some fresh basil or mint.
More Must Try Salad
- Little Gem Salad
- Citrus Salad
- Butter Lettuce Salad
- Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad
- 80+ Best Salad Recipes
How to Make Bibb Lettuce Salad
Combine vinegar, mustard, and garlic, then slowly add oil while whisking. Blend in parmesan and season.
Pour the salad dressing over clean, dry, torn Bibb lettuce leaves and mix well. Serve on a platter or plates, topped with walnuts and optional extra parmesan cheese.
Bibb Lettuce Salad
- 2 heads Bibb Lettuce trimmed and washed; leaves torn into bite-size pieces
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 small clove garlic minced
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese plus more for serving, optional
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- Place clean, dry, torn Bibb lettuce leaves in a large salad bowl.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, and garlic until combined. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until emulsified. Whisk in parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Drizzle desired amount of dressing over Bibb lettuce leaves and gently toss with salad servers until evenly coated. Arrange dressed lettuce on a large serving platter or divide between 4 individual salad plates. Sprinkle evenly with chopped walnuts and more parmesan cheese if desired; serve.