Copycat Little Gem Salad

Copycat Little Gem Salad Recipe

healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

Recreate the fresh and vibrant flavors of a restaurant favorite with this Copycat Little Gem Salad recipe. Combining the delicate, buttery textures of butter lettuce and romaine with fresh herbs, crunchy panko breadcrumbs, and a creamy buttermilk dressing, this salad is perfect for a light lunch or a delicious starter. The homemade dressing, enriched with buttermilk, sour cream, and mayonnaise, adds a tangy, creamy finish that complements the crisp greens perfectly.


For the Salad:

  • 1 shallot, chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
  • 20 oz or 5 heads butter lettuce, torn into small pieces
  • 2 hearts of romaine, chopped
  • 7 tablespoons each chopped fresh chervil, fresh chives, fresh dill, and fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil


1. Prepare the Shallots:

  • In a small bowl, combine the finely chopped shallot with 1 tablespoon vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Allow to marinate for at least 10 minutes. This will mellow the sharpness of the shallots and add a slight tang to the salad.

2. Toast the Breadcrumbs:

  • Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the panko breadcrumbs and toast, stirring frequently, until they are golden brown and crisp. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

3. Prepare the Lettuce and Herbs:

  • In a large salad bowl, combine the torn butter lettuce and chopped romaine. Add the chopped fresh chervil, chives, dill, and parsley. Toss to mix evenly.

4. Make the Dressing:

  • In a blender or food processor, combine the buttermilk, sour cream, mayonnaise, roughly chopped shallot, pressed garlic, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon salt. Blend until smooth.
  • With the blender running on low, slowly add the canola oil in a steady stream until the dressing is emulsified and creamy. Adjust seasoning with salt to taste.

5. Assemble the Salad:

  • Drain the marinated shallots and add them to the salad bowl with the lettuce and herbs.
  • Pour the buttermilk dressing over the salad and toss gently to coat the leaves evenly.

6. Add Final Touches:

  • Sprinkle the toasted panko breadcrumbs over the top of the salad for added crunch.
  • Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

7. Serve:

  • Serve the salad immediately, garnished with extra chopped fresh herbs if desired. Enjoy the fresh, herbaceous flavors and the creamy, tangy dressing.

Cook’s Tips:

  • Marinating Shallots: Marinating the shallots in vinegar and sugar not only reduces their sharpness but also adds a subtle sweetness and tang that enhances the salad.
  • Toasting Panko: Keep an eye on the panko breadcrumbs as they toast, as they can quickly go from golden to burnt. Stir frequently for even toasting.
  • Herb Variations: Feel free to adjust the quantities of herbs based on your preference or availability. Fresh tarragon or mint could also be lovely additions.


  • Protein Addition: Add grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu to make this salad a more substantial main course.
  • Cheese Addition: Sprinkle with crumbled feta, goat cheese, or shaved Parmesan for an added layer of flavor.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Toasted nuts such as almonds, walnuts, or sunflower seeds can add a nice crunch and nutritional boost.


  1. Can I make the dressing ahead of time? Yes, the dressing can be made up to 3 days in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and give it a good shake before using.
  2. Can I use a different type of lettuce? Absolutely! While butter lettuce and romaine are recommended for their texture and flavor, you can substitute with your favorite greens such as baby spinach, arugula, or mixed greens.
  3. How do I store leftovers? If you anticipate having leftovers, it’s best to keep the salad components separate and only dress the amount you plan to eat. Once dressed, the salad will keep in the refrigerator for about a day, but the greens may start to wilt.

This Copycat Little Gem Salad brings the crisp, fresh flavors of a restaurant-quality salad right to your kitchen. With its blend of delicate lettuce, fresh herbs, and a tangy, creamy dressing, it’s sure to be a hit at any meal. Perfect for a light lunch or as an elegant starter, this salad offers versatility and vibrant flavor in every bite. Enjoy this delightful and easy-to-make salad that showcases the best of fresh ingredients and homemade dressing

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healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

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