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Little Gem lettuces are a romaine relative, but they are smaller, more tender and sweeter for your salad. If you can’t find Little Gems, hearts of butter lettuce or Bibb lettuce make a good alternative. Add juicy grapes, crunchy walnuts and tangy blue cheese for a meal you’re sure to put on repeat. To switch it up, replace the grapes with pears, figs or Fuyu persimmons. Pair with California rosé or California Riesling.

little gem salad recipe



  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, plus more if needed 
  • 1 small shallot, finely minced 
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil 
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • ½ pound (225 g) Little Gem lettuces or hearts of butter lettuce 
  • ¾ cup (125 g) halved seedless red or black grapes 
  • ½ cup (60 g) chopped toasted walnuts 
  • 2 ounces (about ½ cup/60 g) coarsely crumbled blue cheese 

Serves 3 to 4 


Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and shallot. Whisk in the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Put the lettuces in a salad bowl, tearing them into bite-size pieces or leaving whole if you prefer. Add the grapes, walnuts and blue cheese. Add enough vinaigrette to coat the leaves lightly — you may not need it all — and toss gently. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more vinegar or salt if needed. Serve immediately. 

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