The slightly unusual food preparations continue to take place in our kitchen… After frying a boiled egg and roasting greens, I grilled some lettuce . This  3-minute preparation delivers a punch of flavor, leading the humble butter lettuce to its best performance. From the latest Fine Cooking magazine  which, by the way, is an awesome issue, I’d love to make almost every recipe from it!

(adapted from Fine Cooking #105)

1 butter lettuce, cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/8 cup creme fraiche (I substituted sour cream)
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs thinly sliced chives
1/2 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
vegetable oil for the grill

Prepare a gas or charcoal grill at medium-high heat.

Whisk the buttermilk, creme fraiche, olive oil in a bowl. Add the chives, lemon juice and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve.

Brush the grill with a light coating of vegetable oil, place the lettuce, cut side down, and grill for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the grilled lettuce to a serving plate, cut side up, and drizzle the dressing over it. Sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper, and serve.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Sometimes the idea of washing, drying, slicing…  the whole “prep work” associated with making a good salad makes me a bit tired.   However, this recipe delivers a delicious, and quite elegant salad in – literally – 6 minutes.  All you need is the most gorgeous, preferably organic butter lettuce available, and a few ingredients for the dressing. My beloved suggested adding a little blue cheese  – “it will make it perfect”! – so, keep this in mind if you make it.

Grilling the lettuce intensifies its flavor, and changes the texture ever so slightly, making each bite have its own character: closer to the edge a bit smokey, a crisper and brighter taste as you indulge deeper. The buttermilk dressing is very flavorful – it will certainly go well over other roasted or steamed veggies. I can see myself grilling lettuce during the whole Summer!


  1. SallyBR, that looks wonderful, and I am not a big salad eater! I think I will try this tonight for my Bride and maybe add some walnuts for myself. Great idea; now to see if they carry ‘butter lettuce’ here in the midwest!


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  4. Issue 105 is indeed a great issue– I’m looking forward to trying the grilled lettuce, as your post is quite inspirational. If you would like “to make almost every recipe from it!” then you could post a few photos here:
    There is a group of us cooking (almost) everything from this issue and posting photos. It would be great to see you there– I’m enjoying your blog too! I recommend the strawberries and cream semifreddo from this issue, and the flank steak.


    • Thanks, Jen!

      Wow, that is a wonderful way to “get to know” a Fine Cooking issue! I had no idea people were doing it, thanks for the heads up!

      I had the flank steak highlighted as a possibility of dinner this week, with your recommendation I’ll definitely make it


    • I had no idea these ingredients were Polish! 🙂

      I hope everyone jumps to your blog to learn a lot about Polish cuisine. I’ve always loved Polish pottery (although here they are awfully expensive!) but was surprised to realize how little I know about Polish cooking.


    • Lisa, I had “grilled lettuce” in my “to do soon” list for ages! I am glad I finally got around to making it, very very tasty.

      I hope you give it a try…


  5. Yeap. I love, love, love a nice salad, but… gosh, they take ages to prepare!

    (and this coming from someone who has absolutely NO problem in waiting 3 days to bake a bread… 🙂


  6. That was good! Made a dressing with half creme fraiche, half yoghurt, crushed garlic, lemon, mint, salt and pepper. So not that dissimilar to yours, couldn’t remember it exactly when I was in the kitchen.

    One giant lettuce eaten, fourteen to go…..


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