For March’s Daring Cooks’ Challenge, Ruth, Shelley and Sawsan asked us to totally veg out! We made salads and dressings, letting the sky be the limit as we created new flavors and combinations that reflect our own unique tastes.
I can never decide what to do with lettuce.
I buy crisp heads of romaine and bags of delicate pea shoots, gleefully pondering what they’ll become. Maybe I’ll try Roasted Butternut Squash Salad, or whip up this Grilled Apple and Pecan Salad to eat alongside pork chops. I take my shopping home and pop it in the fridge, full of anticipation. I mull it over for days, and by the time I make a decision the lettuce is limp, tired and thoroughly disappointing. There lies the sad tale of all the lettuce I have ever bought.
If your lettuce suffers a similarly wilted fate then, and please trust me on this, you need to griddle it.
Take any leftover heads of lettuce, halve them through the root, and place cut-side down on a hot, lightly oiled griddle. You can even pop them on the BBQ if it’s the right time of year. They’ll gain glorious char lines and fantastic flavour, enough that you won’t care that they weren’t crisp and fresh when you started. If your lettuce is single leaves, like rocket or bagged mixes, stir-frying will have a similar, though less visually impressive, effect.
My last griddled lettuce was drizzled with this yoghurt mint dressing. Light, fresh and totally creamy, it’s a brilliant way to have a little bit of summer whenever you want.
Yoghurt Mint Dressing
Makes 4 servings
2tbsp olive oil
2tsp white wine vinegar
1/4tsp cracked black pepper
6 to 12 torn mint leaves
This is easy peasy – pop everything in a jar and shake it until thoroughly combined. Have a quick dance whilst you shake it, you know you want to.
I’ll be honest, though I say had it with lettuce, I went back and added some to the potatoes. And the chicken.
It was delicious, and I have no regrets.
Do any of you let produce get past it’s best? Got any tips to salvage it? Please enlighten me in the comments!