Vegetarian: Grilled Romaine Hearts with Buttermilk-Dill Dressing
Summer seems to be arriving in fits and starts, but once it's here to stay, I'll abandon my stove altogether and take my cooking outside for the season. Most of us are familiar with the grilled vegetable standbys of eggplant, zucchini, peppers, and the like, but almost any vegetable can (and should) be grilled, including more delicate items like lettuce. You'd think grilled lettuce would turn warm and soggy, but properly seared on a hot grill it actually gets charred, smoky, and crisp-tender.
I like to serve grilled hearts of romaine lettuce with a rich, tangy buttermilk dressing shot through with fragrant dill, topped with sweet tomatoes and crisp rounds of spicy radishes. This super-simple recipe only takes 20 minutes to prepare and will surely stand out at your next summer barbecue. My favorite part about it? It's the ultimate finger food: just pick up a wedge of lettuce and go to town.
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About the author: Lauren Rothman is a former Serious Eats intern, a freelance catering chef, and an obsessive chronicler of all things culinary. Try the original recipes on her blog, For the Love of Food, and follow her on Twitter @Lochina186.