Friday, June 19, 2015

Mary Jane's Grilled Lettuce Salad with Buttermilk Herb Dressing

It's CSA time and that means heavenly, buttery, fresher than any grocer could ever provide lettuce will be on our plates for the next several weeks [super loud cheering, jumping up and down, shouting & joy]! Lots and lots and lots and lots of greens will force our inner creative to emerge because I suspect some may be tossing greens to the gerbils, me included. This salad was inspired by chef Mary Jane Miller who provided an excellent outdoor cooking demo for a Sustainable Farmer's Association Spring Picnic (I heart farmer's). She was the Star of the Outdoor BBQ and I learned so much that day! 

I was skeptical at first because are you like me and always avoid soggy lettuce on sad BLT's and club sandwiches? Grilled lettuce reminded me of soggy, sad sandwiches, but there is nothing sad nor soggy about this salad. The flavor of grilled lettuce is fabulous! It is SO right. Add the grilled onions and flavorful Buttermilk Herb Dressing and you've just provided your next BBQ with the star salad! 
Tell me… How are you the star of the BBQ? 

Printable Recipe Here
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Mary Jane's Grilled Lettuce Salad with Buttermilk Herb Dressing
inspired by Mary Jane Miller

Serves 4-6

4 heads of lettuce
1 large red onion
1/2 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Buttermilk Herb Dressing

1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 clove garlic
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 fistfuls of assorted herbs, such as Italian parsley, tarragon, thyme, and/or chives

Prepare Dressing: Pour buttermilk, yogurt, olive oil and vinegar into a large mason jar. Crush garlic clove into jar. Season with cayenne, salt and pepper. Tightly cover and shake vigorously until combined. Finely mince herbs and toss into dressing, shake again. Refrigerate until ready to use. Keeps refrigerated for 1 week.

Prepare Lettuce & Onions: Slice off a sliver from the bottom core of each lettuce head, leaving the core intact. Slice heads in half horizontally. Slice onions into discs, if desired, spear unto skewers to make grilling easier. Using a pastry brush, or something similar, generously slather lettuce and onion with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. 

Grill: Preheat grill over high heat. Lay onions and lettuce on the hot grill. Grill lettuce for 2-3 minutes per side, onions for 3-5 minutes. Remove from grill when you see nice char marks. 

Serve: Lay the lettuce unto a cutting board and slice into 1" horizontal slices, slide your knife along the bottom of the lettuce, keeping the shape intact and move onto a serving platter, repeat with remaining lettuce. Lay grilled onions in the center of the lettuce. Serve with dressing.
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