Grilled Romaine with Herb Dressing

grilled romaine lettuceThe idea of grilling lettuce may seem strange but the flavor imparted on the greens is worth a few raised eyebrows! The leaves become slightly wilted and have a unique “grilled” flavor that partners well with a grilled chicken breast or a steak.

Ingredients

  • Two heads of Romaine lettuce, halved lengthwise and trimmed
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 c. loosely packed dill leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 c. flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 T. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/3 c. chopped chives
  • 3/4 c. mayonnaise
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk
  • 2 T. cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1/8-1/4 t. fresh ground pepper
  • Dash or two of hot sauce (if desired)

Directions

Brush the cut sides of the lettuce with olive oil. Grill on a preheated grill over medium-high heat for about two minutes. Cut each lettuce half again to make quarter wedges and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Dressing:

Combine first five ingredients (through mayonnaise) in a bowl. Slowly add buttermilk, whisking constantly. Stir in vinegar, salt & pepper and the hot sauce. Taste the dressing and adjust seasonings to your preference.

Drizzle dressing over grilled lettuce quarters and a handful of cherry tomatoes.

*Dressing can be made in a food processor if desired.*

Spinach Salad with Strawberries and Candied Pecans

Jump into spring with an easy yet elegant spinach salad! This recipe is also great in the fall using pears and crumbled feta. Any leftover dressing can be refrigerated up to two weeks.

spinach salad with straweberries and candied pecans

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch of spinach (spring mix will work too!)
  • 2 c. sliced strawberries
  • 1 1/2 c. candied pecans
For the dressing:
  • 2/3 c. cider vinegar
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 c. olive oil
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 t. prepared yellow mustard
  • 2 t. poppy seeds

Directions

To candy the pecans:

Melt 3 T. butter in a non-stick pan. Add pecans and toast for two minutes. Add 3 T. brown sugar and a dash each of cayenne pepper and cinnamon. Stir until sugar dissolves into a syrup. Transfer nuts and syrup to wax paper to harden. Break apart once cooled if needed.

For the salad:

Combine spinach, strawberries and cooled candied pecans. Blend together dressing ingredients; drizzle desired amount over the top of the salad and serve.