To Aaron Martinez (Il Porcellino), spring means the reemergence of light, grassy flavors. “Spring vegetables are more delicate than the root veggies we eat in winter,” he says. “We’re basically tasting things coming back to life.” Martinez loves the clean character of butter lettuce and tops his super simple salad with the brightness of Meyer lemons (which are sweeter and less acidic than their conventional counterparts) and a trio of fresh herbs.

Aaron Martinez’s Butter Lettuce Salad

Yield: 6 servings
Time: 5 minutes


½ cup Meyer lemon juice
1 tsp. Minced shallot
¼ cup Crème fraîche
¼ cup Lemon-infused olive oil
  Salt to taste


4 Heads butter lettuce, cored and outer leaves discarded
6 Chives, cut into half-inch pieces
6 Chervil leaves, torn
8 Tarragon leaves

1. Mix the dressing ingredients until thoroughly blended.

2. Separate the lettuce leaves and toss with the dressing.

3. Sprinkle with chives, chervil, and tarragon.

Tip Run the minced shallot under cold water for 2 minutes to soften the texture and mellow the flavor.