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Grilled Butter Lettuce with Buttermilk-Chive Dressing

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Serves eight.

This is so much better than your average green salad. The grilled lettuce has crisp, caramelized edges offset by a cool, tangy dressing.

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche
  • 2 Tbs. mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh chives
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil for the grill
  • 4 large heads butter lettuce, halved lengthwise

In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk, crème fraîche, mayonnaise, chives, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt. (The dressing may be made up to 1 day ahead and kept refrigerated.)

Prepare a gas or charcoal grill fire for direct cooking over medium-high (500°F) heat. Lightly oil the grill grates.

Lightly season the lettuce with 1/4 tsp. salt. Grill cut side down until wilted, lightly charred, and the cores are crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer the grilled lettuce to a serving platter and drizzle with the dressing (you won’t need all the dressing; refrigerate leftovers for 2 to 3 days). Lightly sprinkle the lettuce with salt and serve.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 40; Fat (g): 3; Fat Calories (kcal): 30; Saturated Fat (g): 1; Protein (g): 2; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1; Carbohydrates (g): 2; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 60; Cholesterol (mg): 5; Fiber (g): 1;

Photo: Lisa Romerein

The flavor of the grilled lettuce was tasty and sweet. Our only disillusionment was a little mild grittiness. We had soaked and attempted to wash and rinse before cooking. Any suggestions to remove the grit from within the head before cooking lettuce in this manner? Also, upon sampling the dressing after completion according to the instructions, we did not like the mayonnaise dominated taste and found it to be a bit bland. Therefore, we ramped it up by adding a bit more lemon juice, a clove of garlic, half of a finely chopped shallot, and some chopped parsley. Use homemade mayo if you have the time! It makes a big difference.

OK but will not make again. Not sure grilling the lettuce did anything for it.

I was dubious at first, but this recipe was awesome. The lettuce was slightly charred on the outside and still crisp on the inside. The dressing was simple and tasty (I had some left over that I used as dipping sauce for zucchini fries the next day, it was wonderful). Great summer recipe.

I have made this 3 times now and find it to be delicious! Just make sure your heads of lettuce are firm enough to stay together, and serve immediately while still warm. The dressing is perfect with it!

This is a delicious recipe, our farm (Babe' Farms) grows a Little Gem lettuce which is a cross of green romaine and butter lettuce - it's an excellent variety of lettuce for grilling. Little Gem has a sweet taste, with tender leaves - beautiful yellow core. First we basted the filets with a combination of lemon juice & olive oil, then lightly salted with a BBQ seasoning blend. In Santa Maria, CA we use a special seasoning that includes: Garlic Salt, Black Pepper, Salt, Dried Parsley - Susie Q's makes a nice mix. Just grill until it's slightly golden, you don't want the lettuce melt - still needs to have a crisp texture. Top with the delicious dressing and you can add bacon bits too. I definitely recommend this for summer grilling!!!

Who would have thought grilled lettuce? The dressing is bright and tangy and pairs so well with the delicatly grilled butter lettuce. I served this with grilled salmon and honey glazed beets and carrots. . . . yummy :) A definate make again

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