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Little Gem Salad with Red Grapes, Blue Cheese and Walnuts

Little Gem lettuces are a romaine relative, but they are smaller, more tender and sweeter for your salad. If you can’t find Little Gems, hearts of butter lettuce or Bibb lettuce make a good alternative. Add juicy grapes, crunchy walnuts and tangy blue cheese for a meal you’re sure to put on repeat. To switch it up, replace the grapes with pears, figs or Fuyu persimmons. Pair with California rosé or California Riesling.

Yield: 4 Servings


For the Vinaigrette: 

  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, plus more if needed 
  • 1 small shallot, finely minced 
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil 
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • ½ pound (225 g) Little Gem lettuces or hearts of butter lettuce 
  • ¾ cup (125 g) halved seedless red or black grapes 
  • ½ cup (60 g) chopped toasted walnuts 
  • 2 ounces (about ½ cup/60 g) coarsely crumbled blue cheese 



  • Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and shallot. Whisk in the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  • Put the lettuces in a salad bowl, tearing them into bite-size pieces or leaving whole if you prefer. Add the grapes, walnuts and blue cheese. Add enough vinaigrette to coat the leaves lightly — you may not need it all — and toss gently. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more vinegar or salt if needed. Serve immediately. 
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