Butter Lettuce Salad with Creamy Tarragon Poppyseed Dressing

Over the years, I’ve done different salads and beans to serve with our annual Christmas Day tamale supper. This year, I decided to go with a simple salad — just lettuce! — but with a creamy dressing, which I thought would tame some of the heat from the chilies and salsa and provide just the right cooling foil.

Creamy Tarragon Poppyseed Dressing

The recipe, which comes from FineCooking.com, after the jump.

Butter Lettuce Salad with Creamy Tarragon-Poppy Seed Dressing

by Annie Wayte on FineCooking.com

Serves 2.

1-1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds
2 tablespoons crème fraîche
1 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh tarragon plus 1 tablespoon whole tarragon leaves
1  teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon minced garlic
Pinch cayenne
Kosher salt
1 head butter lettuce (about 4 oz. total), trimmed, washed, dried, and torn by hand into bite-size pieces (about 3 cups)
Freshly ground black pepper

Toast the poppy seeds lightly in a small skillet over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a cool plate.

In a small bowl, combine the crème fraîche, yogurt, ch pped tarragon, lemon juice, garlic, and poppy seeds.

Stir in 1/2 to 1 tablespoons. water to thin the mixture to a creamy salad-dressing consistency. Season with cayenne and salt to taste.

Just before serving, toss the butter lettuce in a large bowl with just enough of the dressing to lightly coat the leaves (you’ll have leftover dressing). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Arrange the salad on individual serving plates, scatter the whole tarragon leaves on the top, and serve.

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