Fresh Garden Salad with Quail Eggs

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For the greens you might like to use a variety of different leaves, including Bibb or Boston lettuce or Romaine.

Boston lettuce, which is also known as butter lettuce, is originally from the Mediterranean although other varieties developed in North America. Bibb and Boston lettuce are two of the most popular types of lettuce in the United States and they are similar although Boston lettuce has wider, paler leaves than Bibb.

Butter lettuce is tender and mild in flavor, which means it pairs well with all kinds of other ingredients and is often used in garden salad recipes. This type of lettuce goes especially well with fruity or creamy ingredients, as well as with honey.

Lactucarium is found in butter lettuce and it might interest you to know that this compound has sedative effects similar to opium. It is recommended for treating intestinal spasms, palpitations and insomnia although a few leaves should not have any effect at all.

Rumor has it that the emperor Domitian used to serve a whole head of butter lettuce to his guests at the beginning of their meal, forcing them to fight their sleepiness for hours, since falling asleep in front of the emperor would have been a big no-no.

Wash and dry your lettuce well before using it in the garden salad recipe. Use a canned jalapeno for less heat or a fresh one for more. Take out the seeds and stem before using it. If you really don’t like the idea of adding heat to your garden salad recipe, you can leave the jalapeno out altogether.

The salad will still be flavorful and have a nice texture without it. The lemon juice in the dressing should be fresh for the best flavor but you can use bottled lemon juice at a pinch; it does not make too much difference.


  • 3 cups (225g) torn mixed greens
  • 2 chopped green onions (spring onions)
  • 1 cup (75g) baby spinach leaves
  • 1 sliced fresh tomato
  • ½ thinly sliced carrot
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish
  • 8 quail eggs

For the Dressing:

  • ¼ cup (60ml) lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon chopped jalapeno
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 minced fresh garlic clove


  1. Boil the eggs for 3½ minutes then cool in ice water, peel and halve.
  2. Toss the mixed greens with the green onions, spinach, tomato slices and carrot.
  3. Add the quail egg halves on top.
  4. Whisk the lemon juice, jalapeno, cilantro, honey, extra-virgin olive oil and garlic together to make the dressing.
  5. Lightly toss the salad with the dressing and garnish with lemon wedges.


  • This colorful and appealing garden salad recipe can be made with whatever salad leaves or greens you fancy.
  • Baby salad leaves are always nice in a garden salad and you might like to choose a couple of different kinds of lettuce which are in different shades of green for an even more colorful result.
  • You can see how the dressing gives this salad a glossy finish.
  • The lemon wedges are decorative but they can also be squeezed over the garden salad if anyone wants a more citrusy taste than the honey lemon dressing offers.