Grilled Butter Lettuce with Buttermilk-Chive Dressing

It’s easy to get into a salad rut, so I wanted to share a quick recipe that we discovered this past weekend. If you’re already grilling for dinner, why not throw the salad on too? Just halve a head of butter lettuce and grill cut-side down for a few minutes until it’s nicely charred and wilted, while the inner core retains that distinct butter lettuce crunch. Transfer to a serving plate and drizzle a creamy and tangy buttermilk-chive dressing over it. The dressing takes less than 5 minutes to whisk together, and paired with the grilled lettuce and its pleasing caramelized edges, you won’t know what’s hit you. Your ho hum dinner salad has been transformed! Enjoy & Happy 4th of July to all our readers!

Grilled Butter Lettuce with Buttermilk-Chive Dressing

(From the June/July 2010 issue of Fine Cooking)
Serves 8

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

* Try adding some leftover crème fraîche and chopped chives to your scrambled eggs in the morning. Delicious.

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, crème fraîche, mayonnaise, chives, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt. (Can be made 1 day ahead, covered, and refrigerated).
  • Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct, medium-high heat.
  • Lightly season the halved heads of 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 grilled lettuce to a serving platter (or individual plates) and drizzle with dressing (you won’t need all of it). Lightly season with salt and serve.

6 thoughts on “Grilled Butter Lettuce with Buttermilk-Chive Dressing

  1. I’ve heard of grilled caesar salad before, but never butter lettuce (not that it should be much different). This looks and sounds like the perfect way to break a salad rut. Will try it this week, thanks for the inspiration! – S

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