The best thing about growing leaf lettuces (as opposed to head lettuces) in your garden is that you can pick the outer leaves as you need them, leaving the rest of plant intact.  The small leaves in the center will continue to grow, providing you with a steady supply of salad for weeks and weeks.

My garden is full of leaf lettuce, and my favorite way to dress the soft, tender leaves is with a crisp, citrusy vinaigrette.  Use good mustard (I like Maille) and olive oil for this dressing because you’ll taste them both.

Lemon vinaigrette

Yield: About 3/4 c.

3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice (from about 1 good-sized lemon)

1 tbsp. minced shallot

1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. granulated sugar

1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine lemon juice, shallot, mustard, and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk well to dissolve sugar.  Whisking constantly (if the bowl slides, coil a dishtowel under the bowl to steady it), slowly drizzle in olive oil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  (Or just combine all ingredients in a jar with a tightly fitting lid and shake to emulsify.)