Grilled Wedge Salad with Smoky Ranch Dressing

grilled wedge salad


Grilled Wedge Salad with Smoky Ranch Dressing

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Method: Direct grilling


  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon minced canned chipotles in adobo (or less if you’re not a spice-lover)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly and finely grated lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Coarse salt (sea or kosher) and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves or dill
  • Vegetable oil, for oiling the grill grate
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into quarters through the core
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • 1/4 cup chopped smoked almonds

You’ll also need:

  • 1 cup hardwood smoking chips, unsoaked

Recipe Steps

1: Make the dressing: Place the mayonnaise in a mixing bowl and whisk in the buttermilk, vinegar, chipotle, and lime zest and juice. Add salt and pepper to taste: The dressing should be highly seasoned. (Note: The dressing can be made several hours ahead to this stage and refrigerated.) Stir in the cilantro just before dressing the salad.

2: Just before serving, set up your grill for direct grilling and heat to high. If enhancing a charcoal fire, add the wood chips to the coals. If enhancing a gas fire, place the chips in your grill’s smoker box or make a smoking pouch out of foil. Brush or scrape the grill grate clean and oil it well.

3: Lightly brush the cut sides of the lettuce wedges with olive oil. Arrange them on the grill grate, cut sides down, running on a diagonal to the bars of the grate. Grill until lightly singed, giving each wedge a quarter turn after 30 to 60 seconds to lay on a crosshatch of grill marks. Grill the other cut side the same way. Work quickly so the lettuce remains raw and crunchy in the center.

4: Transfer the lettuce wedges to a platter or plates. Spoon the dressing over them and sprinkle with chopped almonds. If you like a hot-cold salad, serve at once. Otherwise, dress and serve within 2 hours of grilling the lettuce. (If grilling ahead, cover and chill the lettuce until serving. Chilled salad plates are a nice touch, too.)

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