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Butter Lettuce, Courgette, and Goat Cheese Salad Recipe

A simple summery salad of flavors and textures which sing together, united by a dressing of melted butter.
Butter Lettuce, Courgette, and Goat Cheese Salad Recipe
Photo by Liz Seabrook

Servings: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes


2 heaping tablespoons of sunflower seeds
1 unwaxed lemon
half a large butter lettuce, leaves separated, washed and dried
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 young, firm courgettes
1 ¾ ounces|50 grams unsalted butter
5 ⅓ ounces|150 grams fresh goat's curd (or other very soft cheese)
leaves from 2 sprigs of mint, sliced into ribbons at the last minute
handful of edible flowers, such as nasturtiums, borage flowers, chive flowers, marigold petals (optional)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Place the sunflower seeds in a small dry frying pan and toast over a medium heat for several minutes, tossing frequently, until golden. Tip out and set aside.
  2. Pare the zest off the lemon using one of those clever little zesters which produces tiny ribbons of zest. If you don't have one of these, use a vegetable peeler to pare off lozenges of zest, taking care to avoid the bitter white pith, then slice these crossways as finely as you can.
  3. Place the lettuce leaves in a wide bowl and tear any large ones into several pieces. Very gently toss with the olive oil, a tablespoon of lemon juice and some salt and pepper, just until the leaves are lightly coated.
  4. Use a vegetable peeler to shave off long fine ribbons from the courgettes, working top to tail. Stop when you reach the spongy core and rotate the courgette to do the next side. Work like this all around the courgettes until only the cores are left. These can be donated to the compost heap.
  5. Melt the butter in a wide frying pan over medium heat. Add the courgette ribbons with a good pinch of salt and toss in the hot butter for a couple of minutes until bright green and just starting to soften. The idea is not to cook them, so this won't take long at all.
  6. To assemble the salad scatter the dressed leaves over a large platter then lift the courgettes out of the pan and arrange them over the lettuce, letting them show off their attractive curls. Spoon little clouds of goat's curd in among the courgettes then scatter over the toasted sunflower seeds and lemon zest. Scoop up the melted butter left in the frying pan and drizzle this over the salad. Finally scatter with the mint ribbons and edible flowers, if using, and serve immediately.

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