It’s day 347 of lockdown and I think it’s pretty safe to assume that at this stage, some of us have exhausted our veggie/salad recipe reserves. So, to alleviate some of this meal plan pain I am sharing my latest solution to combat salad fatigue – grill your leaves.
Grilling lettuce should not be overlooked. Burnishing the exposed sides of your lettuce wedges with momentary contact on a searing hot pan, intensifies their already familiar flavours with the bonus of charred smokiness. Adding in the final texture contrast of the softened outside and crunchy centres of the gem hearts and radicchio dressed with a little tangy/herby deliciousness gives us nothing short of Salad Bingo.
We may not have any idea what day it is any more, but the outside temperature and blue skies are pointing to BBQ season. Searing your lettuces on the already lit outdoor fire is another way to cook them for this summer side.
A buttermilk dressing is incredibly refreshing during the summer months as the slightly sour edge compliments the sweeter vegetables and is also delicious drizzled on roasted vegetables or on grilled fish. If you do not have any buttermilk hanging around in your fridge, replace it with 70g plain or greek yoghurt and use the juice from the other half of your lemon.
You can shake things up in the dressing department if you are making this recipe on repeat by replacing the buttermilk version with your favourite vinaigrette, some thinned out green goddess, raisin caper vinaigrette, salsa verde, or the buttermilk dressing linked below..…or anything else your heart desires……
I have used baby gem hearts and radicchio here as they hold their shape beautifully and compliment each other with their contrasting sweet and bitter flavours. But I also make this frequently with endive (chicory).
For the Salad
- 250g radicchio
- 250g gem hearts
- 1tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- roughly chopped smoked or roasted almonds
- dill sprigs
- toasted breadcrumbs (from all that leftover sourdough you are making in lockdown)
To grill the lettuces:
Place a frying pan on a high heat
Cut each lettuce in half and then in half again lengthways through the root.
Drizzle each cut side very lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper
Place all the pieces cut side down in the hot, dry frying pan and sear for a minute on each side. Do not crowd them in the pan or they will steam, so if your pan is not big enough (or your lettuces are on the larger side) you may need to do this in a few batches.
Remove the charred and delicious leaves and place on a serving plate.
Allow to cool slightly before drizzling with buttermilk dressing.
Have you made this dish?
Let me know what you think, share your efforts and any tweaks you made to the recipe on Instagram, don’t forget to tag #BuildingFeasts or email me on email@example.com