Salads do not need to be boring! In fact, they can not only be healthy but delicious, colorful and an introduction to some new seasonal vegetables or fruits. Salads can be an accompaniment to a full dinner or it can be the main course. There are many different types of salads making the choices endless. My kids favorite is Caesar Salad with my homemade croutons. Mine is Caprese Salad with fresh Mozzarella or anything with spinach or kale and my spouse enjoys a Wedge with Blue Cheese.

Baby Gems with Squash Blossoms, Cucumber, Yellow Tomatoes and Buttermilk Dressing


1 bag of Baby Gems or 1 or 2 heads of Butter Leaf Lettuce, washed and drained

2 cups small squash blossoms, stems removed, divided

6 ounces pancetta or 3 slices bacon, fried (this can be omitted for a Vegetarian recipe)

1/4 cup sunflower seeds (or more depending on your preference)

1 cucumber, halved and then sliced

1 pint of yellow cherry tomatoes or assorted (tomatoes should be left out for a Keto recipe)

Edible flowers (these can be hard to find and optional)

Buttermilk Dressing:

2 garlic cloves, smashed

Salt and ground pepper, to taste

3 TBSP mayonnaise

3 TBSP sour cream

1 TBSP white wine vinegar

1/2 cup buttermilk (use 2% Sugar Greek Yogurt as a substitute for Keto)


  1. Make the salad dressing. Smash the garlic and add a pinch of salt. Then, mash it into a paste. In a bowl (or glass jar), whisk together the garlic with the remaining ingredients until completely smooth. Season with salt and ground pepper. Set aside.
  2. If using the pancetta or bacon, add it to a saucepan and cook until crisp. You’ll want to break up the bacon into small bite sizes. Reserve the fat (do not drain).
  3. Chop or tear the lettuce into bite size pieces and add to the bottom of a large salad bowl.
  4. Slice the cucumber and cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Scatter over the lettuce.
  5. Next, the pancetta or bacon (in it’s fat) can be spread over the salad items.
  6. Drizzle the buttermilk dressing on top. Then, add the squash blossoms and sunflower seeds. The edible flowers will be the last item added.

This recipe will serve 4 to 6. It can be a side salad or complete dinner if you add grilled chicken or steak on top.

Enjoy! XOXO Jill