Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

Butter Lettuce with Poppy Seed & Tarragon Crème Fraîche Dressing

Scott Phillips

Servings: six.

Crème fraîche gives this salad a mild tanginess that marries beautifully with butter lettuce’s delicate flavor.


  • 1 Tbs. poppy seeds
  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche
  • 2 Tbs. plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh tarragon plus 2 Tbs. whole tarragon leaves
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. minced garlic
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 or 3 heads butter lettuce (about 12 oz. total), trimmed, washed, dried, and torn by hand into bite-size pieces (about 10 cups)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on six servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 60
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 40
  • Fat (g): 4.5
  • Saturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Cholesterol (mg): 10
  • Sodium (mg): 150
  • Carbohydrates (g): 3
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 2


  • Toast the poppy seeds lightly in a small skillet over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a cool plate.
  • In a small bowl, combine the crème fraîche, yogurt, chopped tarragon, lemon juice, garlic, and poppy seeds. Stir in 1 or 2 Tbs. water to thin the mixture to a creamy salad-dressing consistency. Season with cayenne and salt to taste.
  • Just before serving, toss the butter lettuce in a large bowl with just enough of the dressing to lightly coat the leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Arrange the salad on individual serving plates, scatter the whole tarragon leaves on the top, and serve.


Rate or Review

Reviews (5 reviews)

  • Taylor50 | 06/14/2021

    It’s tangy and light, and a good match alongside something rich, but like other reviewers mentioned it needs something else to be more interesting. Avocado would be good. Something sweet like strawberries or raspberries, or dried cranberries. And something for crunch if you want texture, like almonds. But keep it delicate overall.

  • Phelicia | 12/27/2011

    This salad has become a favorite in our household - we really love the poppy seed dressing. We agree that it needs a little something added to it. Our favorite combination is to add toasted slivered almonds, halved grapes, and chunks of avocado. It's fantastic with these flavors in it.

Show More

Rate this Recipe

Write a Review

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 50%

Already a subscriber? Log in.


View All


Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, subscribe today.

Get the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more.

Start your FREE trial