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Baby Gems with Tarragon Buttermilk Dressing

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This is Caesar salads hotter older sister. Don’t get me wrong, I do love a caesar but for me this is 10x better. With this salad you still get a nice creamy dressing but it is lighter, packed with herbs and most importantly easier to make!

This recipe was inspired by Carla Lilli Music’s Little Gems with Sugar Snap Peas and a Ranch-y Dressing, which you can find in her Cookbook “That Sounds So Good”. Ive made quite a few tweaks, but her original is fabulous and so is the cookbook as a whole!

Baby Gems with Tarragon Buttermilk Dressing

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Recipe by Isabelle Heikens Course: Salads


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  • 3 heads 3 baby gem lettuce (or a head of butter lettuce)

  • 1 cup 1 frozen peas, defrosted

  • 3 3 salad turnips, or radishes very thinly sliced

  • 2 springs 2 fresh tarragon, stripped

  • 1 small clove 1 garlic, grated

  • 1 1 lemon, zested and half juiced

  • 1 tbsp 1 olive oil

  • 1-2 tbsp 1-2 freshly grated parmesan or pecorino (optional)

  • 3/4 cup 3/4 buttermilk

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 plain yogurt


  • Quarter the baby gems, cutting through the core. You can separate the leaves or keep them intact with the core. Wash, dry and set aside.
  • Finely chop half of the tarragon, reserving the other half intact.
  • Combine the buttermilk, yogurt, chopped tarragon, lemon zest, grated garlic, grated parm, olive oil. Add lemon juice (I did a few tablespoons), salt and pepper to taste.
  • Toss the lettuce with the buttermilk dressing. Top the salad with turnips (or radish) and peas a bit more salt and pepper.

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