Grilled BLT salad, but­ter­milk dress­ing

The Denver Post - - FEATURES - By Sara Moul­ton Sara Moul­ton, The Associated P ress

EEWhen I first heard about folks grilling ro­maine let­tuce, I was pretty skep­ti­cal. Let­tuce is sup­posed to be crisp. Grilling would make it soggy. What’s the point?

Now, hav­ing tried it my­self, I see the point. Grilling the ro­maine not only re­ally am­pli­fies its fla­vor, it also adds the same lips­mack­ing smok­i­ness that grilling pro­duces in any food. And all it takes is two min­utes on the grill to get the job done.

For this recipe for Grilled BLT Salad with But­ter­milk Dress­ing, the ro­maine is halved and grilled on just one side and then served as a wedge. This, of course, is how ice­berg let­tuce is served in the steak­house (mi­nus the grilling, but plus Rus­sian or blue cheese dress­ing). Here the wedge is topped with the fix­ings of a BLT sand­wich, in­clud­ing grilled bread.

Rather than slather­ing this salad with glops of too-rich may­on­naise, I’ve driz­zled it with an herbed but­ter­milk dress­ing. Most of the but­ter­milk to be found in the su­per­mar­ket th­ese days is low-fat; if you don’t mind the extra calo­ries, I highly rec­om­mend the whole-fat ver­sion.

The dress­ing’s one essen­tial in­gre­di­ent is gar­lic, but the other fla­vor­ings are up to you. Not a fan of tar­ragon or scal­lion? Use dill, chives, basil or oregano in­stead. Are there fam­ily mem­bers who don’t eat meat? Swap in smoked salmon for the ba­con. Look­ing to move this salad from the side of the plate to its cen­ter? “Beef” it up by ad­ding grilled chicken or shrimp. Start to finish: 45 min­utes Serv­ings: 4 ¼ cup may­on­naise

½ cup but­ter­milk

½ tea­spoon finely minced

gar­lic

3 ta­ble­spoons finely chopped scal­lion (white and green parts)

2 ta­ble­spoons finely chopped

fresh tar­ragon

2 tea­spoons fresh lemon juice Kosher salt and black pep­per 2 cups halved cherry toma­toes ½ tea­spoon kosher salt

6 slices ba­con

3 slices rus­tic bread, crusts

re­moved Extra-vir­gin olive oil for brush­ing the let­tuce and the bread

2 hearts ro­maine, halved length­wise, leav­ing the cores in­tact

Pre­heat the grill to medium Di­rec­tions In a medium bowl com­bine all the in­gre­di­ents and whisk well. Add salt and pep­per to taste and set aside.

In a colan­der toss the toma­toes with the salt and let drain while you pre­pare the rest of the salad.

Heat a large skil­let over medium heat, add the ba­con and cook un­til crisp on both sides, about 5 min­utes total. Trans­fer to pa­per tow­els to drain and crum­ble when cool.

Brush the bread on both sides with some oil and grill the bread un­til toasted on both sides, about 1 to 2 min­utes a side. Trans­fer to a rack, let cool and cut into squares.

Brush the cut sides of the ro­maine with oil and add the ro­maine to the grill, cut side down. Grill just un­til the ro­maine is lightly charred on the cut side, about 2 min­utes.

Trans­fer the ro­maine halves to each of four plates, cut side up. Top each por­tion with one­fourth of the toma­toes, crou­tons and ba­con; driz­zle some of the dress­ing over each por­tion.

Nu­tri­tion in­for­ma­tion per serv­ing: 168 calo­ries; 68 calo­ries from fat; 8 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 34 mg choles­terol; 546 mg sodium; 19 g car­bo­hy­drate; 2 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 5 g pro­tein.

Nu­tri­tion in­for­ma­tion per serv­ing: 79 calo­ries; 69 calo­ries from fat; 8 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 6 mg choles­terol; 160 mg sodium; 1 g car­bo­hy­drate; 0 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 1 g pro­tein.

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