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Green Salad with Mustard Dressing

February 11, 2016

By Kath Dedon


Jacques Pépin has a simple salad in his new book, Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul in the Kitchen that is terrific! Green Salad with Mustard Dressing is great for entertaining because you can do all of the prep ahead of time. Just toss the lettuce with the dressing when it’s time to serve.

I used a head of “Living Butter Lettuce” because I think it is the freshest lettuce available this time of year. The secret to making a great salad is to use the best lettuce you can find, wash it really well, and make sure it is thoroughly dry. I give the washed leaves a spin in a salad spinner. I then dump the accumulated water out of the spinner and spin the leaves two more times to get them as dry as possible. After drying them, I roll them up in paper towels, put them in a plastic bag and refrigerate them until I’m ready to toss the salad. The paper towels help to absorb any moisture that may be left.

The Mustard Dressing can be mixed in the salad bowl ahead of time. It is fine to leave it at room temperature until you are ready to serve. The dressing is a classic French vinaigrette. The ingredients are perfectly balanced and the quantity is just right for the 8 – 9 cups of lettuce that Jacques uses in the recipe.

I would encourage you to try this simple Green Salad with Mustard Dressing just as it is written, especially if the rest of the menu is complex or rich. I think you’ll enjoy it. But don’t hesitate to make it your own by adding a few other salad ingredients to it. Thinly sliced radishes and avocado would be good. Or homegrown cherry tomatoes this summer!

Green Salad with Mustard Dressing


Green Salad with Mustard Dressing

(Adapted from Jacques Pépin’s recipe in Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul in the Kitchen)


(print the recipe)


Serves 4 – 6  (Jacques says this serves 4, but I found that it easily served 6 as part of a large meal.)


Living Butter Lettuce

Living Butter Lettuce


9 cups torn butter, Boston, or Bibb lettuce (I used a head of “living butter lettuce”.)

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon water

1/3 teaspoon sea salt (I used a heaping ¼ teaspoon of salt.)

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Thoroughly wash the lettuce and dry in a salad spinner.
  2. Spread the lettuce out on paper towels and gently roll it up in the towels.

Lettuce on paper towel

Rolled up.JPG


3. Put the lettuce in a plastic bag and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.

In ZipLoc bag


4. Mix the mustard, vinegar, water, salt and pepper together in a salad bowl.

Ingredients for dressing


5. Slowly whisk the olive oil into the other dressing ingredients.

Mustard Dressing


6. When ready to serve, put the lettuce in the salad bowl and toss it well so the dressing is evenly distributed. Serve immediately.


Green Salad with Mustard Dressing - Copy



3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 11, 2016 5:33 pm

    My FAVORITE dressing- with one of my favorite heads of lettuce! Great. 🙂

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