If you are looking for a light, refreshing salad that’s also beautiful to the eye, look no further. This salad has all the elements you could wish for: fresh, green Bibb lettuce, a mix of colorful and tasty tomatoes, the salty bite of blue cheese and a topper made of crispy fried onions. The salad is dressed in a vinaigrette that is bright, slightly sweet intended to compliment the salad ingredients.
The recipe below includes the steps for making your own crispy onions. If you don’t want, or don’t have the time, to make your onions from scratch, there are a number of great store-bought versions you can use.
For your blue cheese, you can use any variety you like. I used Castello brand Danish blue for this version; it’s readily available at many stores and cheese shops. But, if you can’t find it, you can order it here.
Feel free to experiment with your tomatoes, too. A mix of colorful cherry/grape tomatoes along with larger ones makes for a terrific display as well as a super flavor hit.
Bibb Salad with Tomatoes, Blue Cheese & Crispy Onions
For the Dressing
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
- 4 Tbsp high-quality sherry vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 8 cups Bibb lettuce leaves (butter lettuce will work, too)
- 4 oz blue cheese, crumbled
- 12 oz mixed tomatoes, halved, quartered or cut smaller if large
- 1/2 cup crispy fried onions (or more, to taste)
For Crispy Onions
- 2 lg onions, thinly sliced into half moons and small rings
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- kosher salt and pepper
- vegetable oil for frying
For the Dressing
- Whisk oil, honey, mustard and vinegar together in a small bowl until smooth and emulsified. Alternatively, you can use a small jar and shake the ingredients instead of whisking. Season with salt and pepper
For the Salad
- Arrange the torn lettuce leaves attractively on a large platter, or on individual salad plates or bowls. Place tomatoes around the lettuce and drizzle the salad with some of the vinaigrette.
- Top salad with crumbled blue cheese, then finally the crispy onions.
- Pass any additional vinaigrette for diners to dress their salads as they choose.
For the Crispy Onions
- In a bowl, soak sliced onions in buttermilk for 10 minutes.
- In a second bowl, add flour, salt and pepper and whisk to combine.
- Working in small batches, grab a small amount of onions with tongs. Shake off excess buttermilk then toss onions in flour mixture until fully coated.
- In a large heavy-bottomed skillet, heat about 1” oil over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add onions and fry until golden, about 2 minutes. Set aside on a rack or paper-lined sheet tray to cool. Sprinkle onions with additional salt.
- Repeat the flouring and frying steps with the remaining batches of onions.