The key to this simple Boston or Bibb lettuce salad is to use the best possible ingredients—especially the green beans, in season. Avocado, grape tomatoes, briny black olives, and a small amount of couscous nestle with the tender lettuces.
How to serve this salad: Serve as a first course with slices of crusty whole-grain baguette or Italian bread. Or, simply serve with the meal as a side salad. This salad goes with most any kind of meal.
Note on green beans: If really fresh, slender green beans are out of season, use organic frozen whole baby green beans, though the fresh version is much preferred in this salad. Steam the green beans until tender-crisp to your liking, then refresh under cool water before adding to the salad.
Gluten-free swap-in: To make this gluten-free, substitute quinoa for the couscous. You’ll can use from 1/2 to 3/4 cup of cooked quinoa.
Are Boston and Bibb lettuces the same? If not identical, they’re similar varieties of the butterhead family, both with tender, pliable leaves and a mild flavor. Read lots more about Bibb and Boston lettuces.
Ingredients for Boston or Bibb lettuce salad
- Couscous (regular or whole grain, small amount)
- Slender fresh green beans (8 ounces; if unavailable, use whole baby green beans)
- Boston or Bibb lettuce (1 medium head)
- Avocado (1 medium, ripe and firm)
- Grape or cherry tomatoes (1/2 pint, about 1 cup)
- Cured black olives, preferably Niçoise (1/2 to 2/3 cup)
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper
Originally titled “Salade Janine,” this recipe was named for the woman who inspired it. Janine served it to me and my traveling companion in a private residence in Montmartre, with a beautiful view of Paris.
Recipe is from Vegan Express by Nava Atlas. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
Explore more …
- Delectable Vegan Avocado Recipes
- Delicious and Savory Vegan Olive Recipes
- Cherry Tomato Recipes
- Curried Vegan “Chicken Salad”
- 1/4 cup couscous (regular or whole grain)
- 8 ounces or so slender fresh green beans (see Note)
- 1 medium head Boston or Bibb lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 medium ripe, firm avocado, diced
- 1/2 pint small grape or cherry tomatoes (about 1 cup; if larger, cut in half)
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup small cured black olives, preferably Niçoise
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, to taste
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- In a small heatproof container, pour 1/2 cup boiling water over the couscous. Cover and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes, until the water is absorbed, then fluff with a fork.
- Meanwhile, trim the ends from the green beans. Steam in a small amount of water until tender-crisp, then drain and rinse under cold water until cool.
- Combine the lettuce, avocado, tomatoes and olives in a salad bowl. Gently stir in the couscous and green beans.
- Drizzle with oil and vinegar and toss together gently. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
If really fresh, slender green beans are out of season, use organic frozen whole baby green beans, though the fresh version is much preferred in this salad. Steam the green beans until tender-crisp to your liking, then refresh under cool water before adding to the salad.
See lots more plant-forward salads & sides.