Celebrate summer with a delicious, buttery salad!

Buttery? Really? The first time I made this salad a few weeks ago – a spontaneous combination of what we had on hand, my husband’s first comment was, “Wow! This salad tastes amazing – it’s buttery!”

Butter lettuce was a main ingredient, which admittedly doesn’t taste like butter… but it is a very delicate, soft leaf that beautifully carries flavor. The ingredient responsible for the ‘buttery’ taste was a truly excellent, fresh, extra virgin olive oil… This is one essential I feel is worth splurging on. I keep our ‘good’ bottle in the refrigerator to maintain freshness, and I never use it for cooking (an ordinary olive oil is fine for that). I reserve our primo olive oil for drizzling on a salad or finishing a dish with its fruity, buttery deliciousness. Our current favorite is Frantoia (available at FreshDirect!).

Ingredients

1 head of butter/bibb lettuce

1 whole avocado, ripe but slightly firm

½ red bell pepper

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

Generous sprinkle of sea salt

Fresh ground pepper to taste (optional)

Directions

Rinse the lettuce leaves and shake dry. Tear the leaves to desired size and toss in a large salad bowl. Cube one whole avocado and ½ red bell pepper (green, yellow & orange also work). Add the avocado and red bell pepper pieces to the bowl. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of your favorite extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and add a touch of freshly ground pepper if desired. Toss everything together and serve.

This fresh salad is truly delicious and nutritious. Vitamin E from the avocado and olive oil. Vitamin C from the red pepper. Essential minerals from the leafy greens and sea salt. It’s fresh and satisfying – the crispness & sharpness of the pepper balances the softness of the butter lettuce, which carries the richness of the avocado and olive oil. Fresh, simple quick. Enjoy every bite!

Serves 2-4.

P.S. If you’re wondering why the photo for this post is one I took of sunflowers outside a New York bodega this first week of summer and not the salad… it’s because we gobbled it up before I thought to stop and snap a pic.

By Leah Keller, Creator of The Dia Method. Learn more about Leah at leahkeller.com.