What can I say? I love this herb salad, and I make some version of it a couple times a week. It’s especially good at providing a bright counterpoint when you’re serving something heavier like pasta or risotto, or alongside potatoes dauphinoise. The inspiration comes from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon in Yountville. Keller uses herbs that are more subtle in flavor, and the vinaigrette is light and refreshing (note: it uses canola oil instead of olive oil; red wine vinegar instead of balsamic). Or to quote Keller himself on Epicurious.com:
This salad is all about freshness. Use plenty of freshly picked fines herbes: parsley, chives, tarragon, and chervil; harder herbs, such as savory, rosemary, and marjoram, would be too strong. Finish it with a squeeze of lemon juice.
Bouchon Herb Salad
Adapted from Thomas Keller’s Bibb Lettuce Salad
Head of Butter (Bibb) Lettuce
Italian parsley, chopped
Red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Lemon juice, fresh squeezed
Cut off core of butter lettuce, and then tear up leaves and place in bowl of cold water to refresh them and remove any dirt, then lift out and spin-dry in a salad spinner.
To make vinaigrette, mix three parts canola oil, one part red wine vinegar, and a dollop of dijon mustard in a blender for 15 seconds.
Place the leaves in a bowl. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, a few grinds of pepper, chives, and 1 tablespoon each of chopped parsley, tarragon, and chervil. Then toss gently with 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.