This past weekend we hosted the first of many impromptu BBQ’s of the season. I have been toiling away in my garden, my very own Salad Garden, to be exact. It doesn’t look like much at this point in the season, but it will soon (stay tuned). Gardening is a patience game, and I am not known for my patience.
So, I decided to fast forward, and grill some big, bushy heads of romaine lettuce to christen our brand new BBQ. This is a great party dish — it is cheap to do on a large scale, it’s beautiful to plate, and it’s surprisingly rewarding to reinvent one of the most basic, run-of-the-mill lettuce varietals. Your friends won’t see it coming. Tons of herbs, fresh ramps (just in season now on the East Coast) make this dressing really bright and flavorful. (Don’t let Lionel pictured above, Allison Weisberg and Peter Barker Huelster’s son be the judge, he hasn’t developed his salad taste buds yet).
I am not posting the recipe here, but that cucumber salad seen above was a little something I came across when recently visiting Asheville, TN for Moogfest, an electronic music and arts festival. We attended an artist event at the Moog factory (the birthplace of the most widely used Synthesizer in the electronic music world), and we were served a salad so simple, I couldn’t wait to replicate it. Chunks of lightly salted Persian Cucumber, drizzled with Sriracha sauce and tahini (thin your tahini with water before attempted to drizzle). My guests couldn’t keep their little hands out of the dish long enough for me to take a photo, as you can see. This is less a recipe, more a magic trick.