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Summer Salad with Creole Tomatoes

A good buttermilk dressing can go a long way. This one, adapted from one my mom found in Southern Living years ago, has found a happy home on our boat. I use tarragon to dress it up here instead of the more traditional chives, though chives, green onions, or dill also work well. Louisiana’s Creole tomatoes are some of the best and meatiest tomatoes around, but if you find yourself somewhere else this summer, I recommend finding hearty heirloom tomatoes to use here instead.

Summer Salad with Creole Tomatoes and Tarragon Buttermilk Dressing

Serves 2
Recipe by Brooke Bass

Total Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Active Cooking Time: 10 minutes

DRESSING (Cook’s Tip: Make this ahead of time, if you like. It’ll keep, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to a week.)

  • ⅓ cup buttermilk
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

SALAD

  • 1 head butter lettuce or other soft green lettuce
  • ¾ pound Creole tomatoes or other large, meaty tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 radishes, sliced thinly into rounds
  • Fresh tarragon, coarsely chopped, for garnish
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, for garnish

Make the tarragon buttermilk dressing: In a small bowl whisk together the buttermilk, mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of tarragon, garlic, salt, and ground pepper. Set the dressing aside.

Make the salad: Place the lettuce, tomatoes, and radishes in a large bowl. Drizzle with tarragon buttermilk dressing.

Using your hands, gently toss together, adding more dressing to taste, until dressed to desired consistency. Garnish the salad with fresh chopped tarragon and top it with freshly cracked black pepper.

Photo by Brooke Bass


Brooke Conroy Bass is a former sociologist turned food blogger and writer. She recently traded in her home kitchen in Portland, Oregon for the galley of a 40-foot sailboat that's bound for the Caribbean.

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