Jun 15, 2017

Little Gem Salad with Green Goddess Dressing and Buttered Breadcrumbs

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Little gem lettuce is a smaller and slightly sweeter (and not to mention cuter) version of romaine.

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I had a version of this little gem salad at the trendy and hard to find LA hotspot, No Name. As the name implies, it is an unmarked restaurant/ bar that is located on Fairfax in Hollywood. It’s one of those places that serves food but then turns into a packed bar at night. I was there with some friends, we got there at 7:30 pm for dinner and ended up staying until well after midnight. You can fit a whole night out into one spot.

The salad will not use all of the dressing so the rest can be used as a spread on sandwiches or as a crudités dip.

Little Gem Salad with Green Goddess Dressing and Buttered Breadcrumbs

mini romaine little gem lettuce

What is Green Goddess Dressing?

Green goddess dressing gets its name from the addition of fresh herbs, blended until smooth and uniform in color. I also add avocado to this version of the dressing for an even creamier dressing.

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Little gem lettuce – Little gem lettuce is a smaller and slightly sweeter (and not to mention cuter) version of romaine. If unavailable, chopped romaine hearts or mini romaine hearts can be used in place of the little gem lettuce.
  • Anchovy – Don’t count out anchovies, even if you aren’t a fan; give them a try in this recipe anyway. You can’t necessarily taste the anchovy flavor but they provide a briny, umami flavor that rounds out the dressing. While oil-packed anchovies are traditionally used, I also like using the anchovy paste that comes in a tube – it lasts longer and can be kept in the fridge for easy use.
  • Fresh herbs – This dressing is flavored with a combination of basil, parsley and tarragon for a tangy, herby dressing.
  • Greek yogurt – How does Greek yogurt differ from regular yogurt? It’s strained to remove any excess whey – resulting in a richer, creamier consistency yogurt. Full-fat (5% fat) Greek yogurt is combined with
  • Breadcrumbs –  I love making my own breadcrumbs out of leftover stale bread. I like the flavor of using sourdough bread for these croutons though they can be swapped with another bread or with plain breadcrumbs. Simply add bread to a food processor or blender and pulse until ground. They can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container.
Little Gem Salad with Green Goddess Dressing and Buttered Breadcrumbs

How to Make Little Gem Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

For the green goddess dressing:

  1. Add ingredients to blender. Add the anchovies, garlic, green onions, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, Greek yogurt, olive oil, basil, parsley, and tarragon into a blender or food processor.
  2. Blend until smooth. Blend until the dressing is thoroughly combined and smooth, about 1 minute. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a week.

Buttered breadcrumbs:

  1. Toss breadcrumbs in butter. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Toss breadcrumbs in melted butter and spread evenly in a single layer on an aluminum-foil lined baking sheet.
  2. Bake. Season with salt and pepper then bake until golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes.
  3. Use or store. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

For assembling the salad:

  1. Toss lettuce with dressing. Add the lettuce to a large bowl. Toss with 3 tablespoons of the dressing until thoroughly all pieces of lettuce are coated.
  2. Add toppings and toss. Add the radish, avocado, snap peas and breadcrumbs then toss to combine.
  3. Serve. Divide among plates and top with grated cheese.
  4. Store remaining dressing. Reserve remaining dressing for another use.
closeup lettuce with green goddess dressing

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

  • To make this recipe vegetarian omit the anchovies.

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Little Gem Salad with Green Goddess Dressing and Buttered Breadcrumbs

Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the green goddess dressing:

  • 3 oil-packed anchovy fillets
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • tablespoons lemon juice
  • cup Greek yogurt
  • cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped basil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chopped tarragon

Buttered breadcrumbs:

  • cups sourdough breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed

For assembling the salad:

  • 4 heads little gem lettuce or mini romaine hearts, torn to pieces
  • ½ medium watermelon radish, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium haas avocado, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup sugar snap peas, sliced on a bias
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Instructions:

For the green goddess dressing:

  • Add the anchovies, garlic, green onions, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, Greek yogurt, olive oil, basil, parsley, and tarragon into a blender or food processor.
  • Blend until the dressing is thoroughly combined and smooth, about 1 minute. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a week.

Buttered breadcrumbs:

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Toss breadcrumbs in melted butter and spread evenly in a single layer on an aluminum-foil lined baking sheet.
  • Season with salt and pepper then bake until golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

For assembling the salad:

  • Add the lettuce to a large bowl. Toss with 3 tablespoons of the dressing until thoroughly all pieces of lettuce are coated.
  • Add the radish, avocado, snap peas and breadcrumbs then toss to combine. Divide among plates and top with grated cheese.
  • Reserve remaining dressing for another use.

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    • Hi Theresa! I always make the dressing a little more acidic so that it is tangy and contrasts with the breadcrumbs and lettuce but you can certainly reduce the vinegar by half and add some water in it’s place so that it’s the same consistency! Sorry about that!

  1. This looks yummy and I want to make it, but I’m gluten-free. I could use gf bread, but not sure the flavor and texture will translate well. Besides the dressing, do the breadcrumbs make the salad? Worth making it without breadcrumbs?

    • I agree, I am not sure how the texture of the bread would translate but I have made it without the breadcrumbs for a friend who has celiac and is gluten free and it is definitely still worth it!! I would say the dressing is what makes the salad. Hope you enjoy the recipe!