This season, I'm grilling greens. Not just the typical asparagus and zucchini, but the leafy greens usually reserved for salads. Cabbage and bok choy and kale. And now, lettuce.
Something wonderful happens to greens on the grill. They get warm and a little bit smoky, and they taste sweeter, too. Chop your grilled greens and add them to salads like this grilled lettuce salad with tomato, cucumber, bacon, cheese, and a creamy dressing. Or use them as wraps, replacing tortillas or rice paper wrappers. For something new at your next barbecue, toss your greens with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and throw them on the grill. You're going to love it.
Grilled lettuce salad with creamy Dijon dressing
From the pantry, you'll need: bacon, parsley, mayonnaise, plain low-fat yogurt, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, fresh black pepper.
Serves 2; can be multiplied.
1 head romaine lettuce, root end still attached
1 tsp olive oil
3 slices bacon (optional), cooked and chopped into large pieces
1 tomato, any type, chopped
1 small avocado, chopped into large pieces
1/4 cup chopped cucumber, any type
1/4 cup chopped mozzarella
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
For the dressing:
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 Tbsp plain low-fat yogurt
2 tsp Dijon mustard (plain or grainy)
1-2 tsp white balsamic vinegar, to taste
1 tsp maple syrup
Fresh black pepper, to taste
Slice the head of lettuce in half lengthwise. Use a pastry brush to coat each half on both sides with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Heat a grill (or panini press, or stovetop grill pan), and cook the lettuce until it has nice grill marks, but is not too limp and charred.
When cool enough to handle, chop into large (2-inch) pieces, discarding the root end. Toss into a large mixing bowl, along with the remaining salad ingredients.
In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, add all of the dressing ingredients, and shake the jar vigorously to thicken the dressing (or whisk everything in a small bowl). Pour as much as you need over the salad, and mix gently.
Serve at room temperature, or chilled.
More lettuce-based salads:
Shrimp and black bean salad with chipotle lime dressing, from The Perfect Pantry
Greek chicken chopped salad with creamy poppy seed dressing, from The Perfect Pantry
Roasted butternut squash butter lettuce salad with spicy avocado dressing, from Foodiecrush
Mediterranean lettuce salad with purslane, mint, tomatoes, cucumbers, and sumac-lemon vinaigrette, from Kalyn's Kitchen
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