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February 3, 2023

Herby, Seedy Butter Lettuce Salad with Tahini Dressing

This loaded, lush butter lettuce salad recipe—drizzled with a delicious tahini dressing—sparkles with fresh herbs and a seed mixture that’s anything but ‘for the birds’.


Butter lettuce salad recipe with a delicious sesame tahini dressing, fresh herbs and a seed mixture

A Seed-Topped Salad Recipe That’s Anything but For the Birds

If you’ve been reading along with us for any length of time, you might know that we often draw recipe inspiration from meals we’ve loved in restaurants. Actually, “loved” maybe isn’t a strong enough word. “Become obsessed with” might be more accurate. This particular herb-and-seed topped butter lettuce salad recipe was inspired by a meal that we enjoyed (became obsessed with) at The Peacock in Austin, TX. We could not stop thinking about the delicate crunch of the tiny seeds, the idea of using fragrant spice seeds—like cumin and fennel—in the same way you’d use sesame seeds absolutely blew our minds. Pistachios double down on the crunch factor, and of course add their own sort of heft. Fresh herbs also sang their way through the salad—and we always love fresh herbs tossed into salads, they’re such a simple and powerful upgrade! And the dressing. Ohhhhh that creamy, rich tahini dressing—garlicky, savory and just-right. Yeah, this salad recipe is vegan (if you swap out the honey for agave) and yeah, it’s really, really, really good for you. But it’s first and foremost an absolute pleasure to eat. With avocado and pistachios and tender butter lettuce, it’s definitely a luxurious salad recipe, which means it’s a terrific one to serve to company! Especially when dinner is otherwise simple—pair it with some grilled fish, or a roast chicken and prepare to bask in the raves!

avocado, butter lettuce mint, chives, garlic, tahini, toasted sesame oil, olive oil fennel seeds, cumin seeds

All of the Ingredients That Make This Seedy, Herby Salad Recipe So Uniquely Satisfying

This superstar main-dish salad recipe is like the Avengers: Endgame of salad recipes. It has cumin seeds! Sesame seeds! Big, satisfying cubes of buttery avocado! Tony Stark! OK, not Tony Stark. We said it’s the Endgame of salad recipes, not actually a salad recipe from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But we digress. The point is, this salad DOES. NOT. QUIT. It has all of these super-heroic, genius little elements that come together to make for a salad recipe that forces you to notice it! You cannot mindlessly eat this salad—its unique deliciousness will force you to stop and realize that something spectacular is going on in your mouth and on your plate. It’s just that good. Here’s everything you’ll need to make the salad:

  • Butter lettuce

  • Fresh mint leaves

  • Fresh chives

  • Pistachios

  • Avocado

  • Dried minced onion

  • Fennel seeds

  • Cumin seeds

  • Sesame seeds

  • Sea salt

dried minced onion, salt, fennel seeds, sesame seeds, cumin seeds in a bowl
toasted sesame tahini dressing in a blender
toasted sesame tahini dressing in a bowl
Herby Seedy Butter Lettuce Salad with toasted sesame Tahini Dressing

Ingredients You’ll Need to Make the Best Tahini Dressing Ever

Our pantry is never, ever without tahini. We use it in hummus, of course, but it also makes a fabulous base for creamy, vegan salad dressings. Tahini is really nutritious, too! So when we want a light lunch that still has enough oomph to power us through the afternoon, we turn to tahini dressing. Pair it with raw kale for a major superfood citation, or use it to dress more tender greens, like the butter lettuce we use in this salad. This toasted sesame, tahini dressing makes a great dip for veggies, too! This particular tahini salad dressing recipe has a lovely kick from fresh garlic and ginger, while sesame oil enhances tahini’s inherent savory earthiness. To make it, just combine:

  • Tahini

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Apple cider vinegar

  • Salt

  • Toasted sesame oil

  • Honey (swap for agave if vegan)

  • Ground ginger

  • Fresh garlic

Herby Seedy Butter Lettuce Salad with Tahini Dressing in a bowl with a side of dressing
Herby Seedy Butter Lettuce Salad with Tahini Dressing on a plate

How To Make The Greatest Salad You’ll Ever Eat

Or at least one of them! This one is really a goodie. And here’s how to make it:

  1. Make the tahini dressing! You can do this a day ahead of time, if you’d like to.

  2. Stir together the seed mixture. You can do this way ahead of time! Weeks, even! Or, if you make this salad often (which you might start doing once you’ve tasted it) mix up a big batch of this special seed blend and label it “awesome salad seed mixture” (or whatever you want to label it—just a thought).

  3. Wash, chop and generally prep all of the produce. Goodness gracious we hope you have a salad spinner, because this is its moment to shine!

  4. In a big mixing bowl, toss together the butter lettuce, mint, chives and seed mixture.

  5. Dress the salad. Start with a light pour—you can always add more to taste.

  6. Top it with avocado, pistachios and another little sprinkling of seeds and tuck in!

Herby Seedy Butter Lettuce Salad with Tahini Dressing

Tools You’ll Need

More Salad Recipes to Try

Herby Seedy Butter Lettuce Salad with Tahini Dressing
Herby Seedy Butter Lettuce Salad with Tahini Dressing

The Only Salad Recipe You’ll Ever Need

We should quit already with the hyperbolic phrases, right? You get it—we love this salad. And you will, too! When you make it, let us know how you like it! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

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Herby, Seedy Butter Lettuce Salad with Tahini Dressing

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  20 min
  • Cook Time:  0 min
  • Calories: 276


  • 2-3 heads butter lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh chives
  • ⅓ cup roughly chopped pistachios
  • 1 large avocado, cut into bite size pieces

Seed Mixture

  • 2 teaspoons dried minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt

Sesame Dressing

  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed or minced


  1. Make the seed mixture. In a small bowl mix together the dried minced onion, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, sesame seeds and flaky sea salt.

  2. Make the sesame dressing. Add the water, tahini, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, sesame oil, honey, ginger powder, and garlic to the base of a high powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.

  3. In a large bowl toss the butter lettuce, mint, chives, seed mixture and dressing until fully combined.

  4. Sprinkle with pistachios, avocado.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories276
  • Protein3 g
  • Carbohydrates7 g
  • Total Fat28 g
  • Dietary Fiber3 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium544 mg
  • Total Sugars1 g

Herby, Seedy Butter Lettuce Salad with Tahini Dressing

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • CherieDe

    Would Dukkah be a good substitute for the seed mixture?

    Sure! That would work fine.

  • Amy

    Is there a sugar-free substitute for the honey in the dressing? I’m trying to eat Keto and this salad sounds amazing!

    We haven't tried a substitute for the honey in this one, but you could get keto honey or try a sugar alternative you have on hand. Let us know how it goes, Amy!

  • Erin

    This salad is how salad is supposed to taste! Fresh, earthy, absolute perfection. Had us 'mmm-mmm-ing'

    Thanks Erin, glad you loved it!

  • Jenn

    This salad is absolutely perfect! The sesame tahini dressing is delicious.

    Thank you Jenn, we are so glad you loved it!