Butter Lettuce with Blue Cheese and Cayenne-Candied Walnuts

Salads (For When You Need Them) - A Chrissy Teigan Recipe

(Quick Sidenote: This coming week, we’ll be putting up 2 recipes; one day and one closer to Thursday. We went for a few smaller recipes, so I felt that it warranted 2 posting.)

S: This recipe kind of has 2 recipes in one, hence the second one being posted later this week. It is technically ‘Butter lettuce with blue cheese’ + ‘Cayenne-candied walnuts’ [D: well, that and onions/shallots]. I got lured in with the cayenne-candied walnuts, which I am definitely a fan of [D: the candied walnuts are delicious, I’d tone down the cayenne and make them as a snack]. It’s a really easy (sans the candied nuts part, which takes a bit of patience) recipe to put together. As Chrissy says in the recipe, making a double batch of the cayenne-candied walnuts is the way to go, for extra nuts to munch on (aside from being in the salad itself).

[Serves 4]


Salad Dressing:

  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 large head of butter or Boston lettuce, separated into leaves, larger leaves torn
  • apple, halved and cut into thin slices
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced into thin rings
  • 1/2 cup cayenne-candied walnuts

Needed tools:

  • cutting board
  • sharp knife
  • utensils to toss the salad

The Step-by-Step:

Making the Dressing -

In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, blue cheese, shallot, salt, and pepper. [D: I would add the blue cheese to the salad after the fact, rather than in the dressing, for reasons explained later]

Assemble the Salad:

In a salad bowl, combine the lettuce, apple, and onion. Drizzle in the dressing to taste, toss lightly, and top with the cayenne-candied walnuts. Any extra dressing keeps for a week in the fridge.

Final Verdict: S: To make our photo look anything like the photo in the cookbook (as per below), we had to crumble in some extra blue cheese on the top of the salad.

The instructions had clearly stated to whisk all the dressing ingredients together; and with the blue cheese we had, everything melted together, looking a wee bit like vomit [D: yeah, especially with a softer blue cheese, the structural integrity fails and it starts turning into a paste, not great]. Not exactly a winning imagery right there, now is it?

Besides that, I think that David and I both can agree that the bite of the salad was a tad too strong {D: a lot of strong flavours in a salad using a light lettuce]. Though the cayenne-candied walnuts were most likely there to cut that bite, there wasn’t enough sweetness to just tame it down a little. If/when we make this recipe again, we’d most likely add some honey to the mix [D: for sure, it needs something to cut the strong flavours].

Not or favourite recipe as is, but I think with a bit of tinkering on our end, it can be a delicious salad to keep in our back pocket [D: not literally though.. soggy pocket..].

** This recipe is available on p71 of Cravings by Chrissy Teigen