Friday, March 15, 2024

Baby Butter Lettuce and Fennel Spring Salad

Delicious Baby Butter Lettuce Spring Salad

Spring is a great time to enjoy a light, crunchy salad of baby butter lettuce, fennel, asparagus, radish, and avocado dill dressing. This whole food plant-based (WFPB) dish is both scrumptious and healthy.
Research shows the fresher and more color-rich the produce, the healthier it is to eat. 

Fruits and vegetables that are grown locally, allowed to ripen naturally, and consumed shortly after harvesting, contain higher levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, than produce that has to be transported from far away.
Locally grown in-season fruits and veggies are usually less expensive, more eco-friendly, and makes simple ingredients pop with flavor.
I prefer to buy organic produce, whenever possible, because organic farming works in harmony to sustain a healthy, fertile, and biologically active environment, one that is kind to people, animals, and our planet.

Baby Butter Lettuce and Fennel Spring Salad

Fresh, Crisp, and Clean!

Light, yet Nutrient Dense and Delicious!

Oil-free, Sugar-free, Gluten-free, and Vegan!

Smart Choice for Lunch or Dinner!

ingredioents Spring Salad with Fennel
Ingredients for Salad:
6 cups baby green and/or red butter lettuce

1 large bulb fennel sliced thin

1 bunch red or multicolored radishes sliced thin

1 medium chopped sweet onion or 4-5 chopped scallions (optional)

16 stalks cooked asparagus (select stalks that are thin. Those are the most tender)

1 seedless cucumber chopped (optional)

Ingredients for Avocado Dill


1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup water

1 large or 2 small avocados

1/2 cup fresh chopped dill

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano and fresh ground black pepper to taste

What to do-
1. Wash and prep all salad ingredients.

2. Place them in a covered salad bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve. 

3. Right before serving, whisk, blend, mash, or process the salad dressing ingredients together, and pour over salad. Toss and serve immediately.

This recipe serves four people. Refrigerate extra portions, but use within a day or two.

Questions and Answers About Main Ingredients

What is fennel?

Fennel is a sweet tasting veggies

Fennel is a member of the carrot family, though not a root vegetable. The base grows above ground into a thick, crisp bulb. Above the bulb, you’ll see stalks with light, feathery leaves that resemble dill. 

When fennel goes to seed, it produces small yellow flowers among the leaves. Every part of the fennel plant is edible.
Recipes most often use the bulb, but you can finely mince the fronds to use as an aromatic garnish for salads, soups, or pasta. If you prefer, save the fennel stalks and leaves to add a sweet note to homemade vegetable broth.
Fennel may look like a feather-topped, potbellied relative to celery. However, its flavor is remarkably different. 

The white bulb and bright green fronds have a gentle, slightly sweet anise (licorice) flavor. It's crunchy, cleansing, and refreshing to the palate. It's a great addition to any salad.
Why are asparagus a wonderful veggie?

Asparagus tastes yummy and is so healthy. It's easy to prepare, has a pleasing texture, and tastes naturally sweet. See how to cook asparagus properly, and nutrition facts at  Asparagus Spring Veggie for Wellness.

Why use an avocado instead of oil in salad dressing?

Avocado and Dill Dressing with Salad

Reducing overall oil from our diet is a heart-healthy move. Although avocados are high in fat, they contain “good” fats like omega-3 fatty acids that make us feel full and reduce the urge to overeat. 

 Avocado is a green fleshed fruit that is nutrient dense and tastes sensual. 

Enjoy recipes that include avocados, as you’ll get nutrients including vitamins C, E, K, and B-6,potassium, niacin, folate, magnesium and more. For more about avocados see Benefits of Eating Avocados with Serving Ideas.


When is a good time to use dill?

Dill for Avocado Dill Dressing

Dill can elevate the flavor of various dishes, and is commonly found in European and Asian cuisines.

Dill's flavor diminishes rapidly during the cooking process, so it is most often added to hot dishes at the end of cooking or used in cold dishes including salads, pickles, and dressings.

Why is baby butter lettuce delicious?

This variety of lettuce is at its peak in the spring and fall and flavorful during March, April, and May. The leaves are soft, tender, and mildly sweet. Each leaf is approximately half the size of regular size butter lettuce. The smaller size makes it attractive, more tender, and easier to prepare. 

When this type of lettuce is not available, use Bibb or red or green leaf lettuce as a substitute.

Baby butter lettuce is nutritious, colorful, and adds fiber and plant-powered protein to salads, sandwiches, and as a garnish for other dishes.

Baby butter lettuce is a good source of calcium, iron, potassium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C. One quarter cup (85g) has 20 calories, and is a fat-free whole food way to get many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

What type of radishes are used in this recipe?

Radishes for Salad

The radishes in this recipe are round shaped ones (called Easter egg radishes) that are red, purple, and white skin colors with white flesh. They have a slightly peppery taste. 

Their spicy flavor adds balance and contrast to the salad's sweetness. 

Radish plants grow with swollen tap roots, which can be globular, tapering, or cylindrical. Root skin colors range from white through pink, red, purple, yellow, and green to black, but the flesh is usually white.

This recipe allows for flexibility. No matter how you toss it or which optional ingredients you include or omit, Baby Butter Lettuce and Fennel Spring Salad is a treat to eat!

Before you go, please leave a comment in the space below.

Do you eat a salad every day? Please share your answer below in the comment section.

What's your favorite springtime salad and what veggies do you like to  include?

I love to eat many types of salad. Salads are easy to prepare, and help me get my 2.5 cup daily portion of veggies recommended in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2000-2024. 

As long as I’m "eating the rainbow" with a diverse, fresh array of vegetables and not adding food toppings like bacon bits and deep fried onion rings, or high saturated fat salad dressing, I'm good to go.

I read and appreciate every comment, but won't be able to publish those that contain links. Thanks for understanding.
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  1. I'm looking forward to growing veggies in my backyard just as soon as the weather allows. I love learning more about veggies I don't normally grow or use such as fennel. Thanks for sharing so much great and healthy information!

    1. Thanks so much for your comment. Yeah for planting veggies in your backyard and have a fabulous weekend.

  2. Your salad looks like spring - yummy!

    1. Thanks so much for your comment and visit Carol. Wishing you a glorious spring!

  3. That sounds like a delicious salad. I have never used fennel in anything.

    1. Thanks Beth. Wish you do find and use a bulb of fennel. It's so crisp, taste-tempting, and healthy.

  4. This salad screams spring! I love the idea of the tender lettuce with the fennel.

  5. What a beautiful and tasty combination of ingredients for a salad. Fennel is one of my favorites. Bernadette,

    1. Thanks Bernadette. Happy to learn you like the recipe amnd fennel is one of your favorites.

  6. Replies
    1. Thanks fir your visit and comment. Wishing you a great weekend.

  7. Looks delicious!! Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party - have a fabulous week ahead -

  8. Oh I love salad. I eat a salad every day during the summer when I have all my fresh veggies from my garden. In the winter I usually eat frozen veggies, also from my garden.

  9. Salad is a year round favorite of mine. Glad you have a garden and can take advantage of using veggies from it in meals all year long. Wishing you a beautiful day.