Here is one of my favorite spring or summer salads. It's simple to make the deliciously creamy dressing. Once you do, you'll never turn to bottled salad dressing again. ---
2 heads of lettuce, preferably Boston, Butter, or Bibb, but in a pinch other lettuces can be substituted.
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp. minced fresh chives
2 tsp. minced fresh tarragon, plus a few extra whole leaves for garnish
1/2 tsp. minced fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup croutons, homemade or store bought
Wash the lettuce leaves under cold water and dry in a salad spinner or kitchen towel.
In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, sour cream, mayo, chives, tarragon, thyme, salt and pepper.
The dressing should be creamy, similar to ranch dressing. If it's too thick, just add a spoonful or two of water and whisk some more.
Using a vegetable peeler, shave thin slices of the Parmigiano-Reggiano and set aside.
Gently toss the lettuce in the large bowl with the dressing.
Garnish with the croutons*, extra tarragon leaves, and the shaved Parmigiano.
*Here's a neat crouton tip: Try placing your croutons in a plastic bag and then break them into smaller pieces. That way, you get crouton flavor in each bite of salad and they won't sink to the bottom of the salad bowl like whole croutons do.
Photos by Ted Scheffler