Butter Lettuce and Bok Choy Salad with Grapes and Toasted Almonds

A hint of ginger and toasted sesame seeds in a creamy dressing balances the flavors in this salad. Each bite is a tasty sensation, with crisp slivers of bok choy, crunchy almonds and the sweet burst of a red grape.  Butter Lettuce, also known as Boston or Bibb, is one of the few lettuces on the approved list for fructose malabsorbers, but when you combine it with baby bok choy it gives it a fresh spin. Gomazio, a popular Japanese condiment, is made of toasted sesame seeds seasoned with salt. It’s in the Asian section of most grocery stores. Use toasted sesame seeds if you can’t find it

If you can’t eat much fruit, make it stretch a long way by using it as an accent in a salad instead of a meager single serving. If you need to ration your fruit, add it to your plate after tossing the rest of the salad ingredients. That way everyone gets a fair share and no one suffers from an excess. This salad tastes great with grilled or poached salmon or chicken, by the way.

And remember, lactose-free doesn’t mean dairy-free, as long as you keep the total amount of lactose under 4 grams per serving of food. There’s a little over a gram of lactose in the entire recipe (about a quarter of a gram per person), making  the recipe almost lactose-free. Substitute mayonnaise for the sour cream if you’re allergic to dairy or you have no tolerance for it.

Butter lettuce is a very loose leaf lettuce and often the outer layers are dirty and mangled by the time it arrives in the store. If this is the case in your market, buy two heads and discard the damaged part, so that there’s enough for the salad.

Butter Lettuce and Bok Choy Salad with Grapes and Toasted Almonds

Serves 4

3 tablespoons (45 ml) mayonnaise
2 tablespoons (30 ml) sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 ml) finely minced ginger
1 teaspoon (5 ml) rice vinegar, unseasoned (no sugar added)
4 baby bok choy, discard large outer stalks and leaves, thinly slice remaining stalks and tear leaves into pieces
1 head of butter (Bibb) lettuce, washed and torn into pieces
1 cup (250 ml) seedless red grapes
1/2 cup (120 ml) toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons (23 ml) gomazio or toasted sesame seeds

In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, sour cream, ginger and rice vinegar until mixed. Put the bok choy, lettuce and almonds in a large salad bowl, then pour the salad dressing on top and toss the salad. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top and toss again until the sesame seeds are evenly spread throughout the salad. Divide the salad into four portions and arrange a 1/4 cup of grapes on top of each salad before serving.

13 thoughts on “Butter Lettuce and Bok Choy Salad with Grapes and Toasted Almonds

    • The first time I tried raw bok choy was in this salad and now I’m a convert- it has a mild taste and a delightfully crispy texture that I’m in love with now.

  1. This will be a great base for another chicken salad, salmon or prawn. Have never eaten boy choy raw – so I’m curious. So I will put this one on file.

    • I think you’ll like it. I’m going to try substituting it in some other recipes that call for raw celery. I can’t eat too much raw celery, so I’m hoping it works. The texture in a salad is very similar.

    • It never crossed my mind either until I was making this salad the first time. It needed something else to pop the textures and I had a Costco-size container of bok choy in the fridge that I needed to use up. I couldn’t believe how well it goes with everything else.

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