Monday, May 24, 2010

Market Fresh: Lettuce

Lettuce is definitely coming up in gardens and very seasonal right now. I often use mixed greens for salad and sandwiches but I really enjoy other lettuces, too. Today, I have a wedge salad and a romaine salad. Both of these recipes are easy and yet fancy enough for a nice dinner. As a side note: the tomatoes are still looking a little puny. :)

I'm not generally a fan of iceberg lettuce but this recipe showcases this crisp lettuce with a wonderful blue cheese dressing. This would be delicous with a little bacon!

WEDGE SALAD
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Dressing:
1/3 c. crumbled blue cheese
2 Tb. c. plain yogurt
3 Tb. buttermilk
1/4 c. mayonnaise
2 Tb. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. white sugar
1 small clove garlic, minced
ground black pepper

Salad: 
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, cut into 4 wedges
1 tomato, diced
1/4 c.  red onion, small diced
crumbled blue cheese

Combine blue cheese, yogurt, buttermilk, mayonnaise, vinegar, olive oil, sugar, garlic, and pepper in a bowl; whisk together; chill until serving.

Build the salad by placing 1 lettuce wedge on each of 4 plates. Drizzle equal amounts of dressing over each wedge. Scatter tomatoes, onion, and blue cheese over each salad. Serves 4.

This dressing is fresh and delicious and really enhances the romaine lettuce. The recipe is adapted from Rachael Ray.



ROMAINE SALAD w/LEMON CHIVE DRESSING
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1/2 a lemon, juiced
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Pinch sugar, honey, or agave nectar 
10 blades chives, chopped or snipped
1/3-1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil (depending on how much juice the lemon has) 
Salt and pepper
2 hearts romaine lettuce 
1 c.  grape tomatoes, halved or any other tomato, diced 

Whisk lemon juice, mustard, and sugar together in a bowl. Add chives and whisk in oil in a slow stream. Season dressing with salt and pepper.


Quarter each heart of romaine lengthwise. Trim core at ends. Place 2 quarters on each salad plate. They're served whole, covered with dressing. Halve a few grape tomatoes and place at plates' edge for garnish. Drizzle salads liberally with vinaigrette and serve. Serves 4.