Grilled Wedge Salad with Smoky Ranch DressingSteven Raichlen
Grilled Wedge Salad with Smoky Ranch Dressing
- 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 1 cup hardwood smoking chips, unsoaked
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.)