Blog RSS feed

The Full Yield Blog

Limestone Lettuce with Greek Goddess Dressing: A Summer Treasure

June 13, 2011 | Tags: Deborah Madison , Food , Vegetables | Post comment

Limestone Lettuce with Greek Goddess Dressing: A Summer Treasure

Limestone lettuce has been at my farmers market the past few weeks and I must say I enjoy the change from salad mix to using whole heads of lettuce, especially Limestone. While its compact head isn’t always so pretty, the separate leaves are— pale, thick and buttery at the base, flattening out to dark green.  Although you can separate the leaves and use them in a tossed salad, what’s especially appealing about Limestone lettuce is cutting the heads in half then spooning a thick herbal dressing over the top.  I just did this last night for a friend’s birthday and it surprised those who had never had a wedge salad and delighted those who remembered just this sort of salad. It’s a knife and fork salad, ideal for a first course at dinner. Indeed, this is something like a wedge of Iceberg with a creamy dressing, only Limestone lettuce offers more flavor, more interest, and more nutrition.

The names Bibb and Limestone are often used interchangeably. Butter lettuce is related, but it’s head is open while the Limestone/Bibb lettuces makes a compact head. All are in the butterhead group of lettuces, which means that the leaves are tender, buttery and soft, and want careful handling not to bruise them. Don’t rip or tear them, but make a cut at the base, pry off the leaves that come loose easily, then make another cut and so on until you get to the heart. Give the leaves a rinse, but don’t spin them in a lettuce drier because it’s too rough on them. Pat them dry by hand and if you’re not ready to use them, roll the leaves in a towel, slide into a plastic bag and refrigerate until you are ready.

Limestone is not often seen and when it is, it can more expensive than other lettuces, like Romaine.  If you get some, break off the rougher outer leaves (you can add them to another salad or even braise them or use them in a soup stock), then cut the heads in half and serve a half to each diner. They are usually clean inside and don’t even need washing. When served cut in half, these little lettuces can support a heavier dressing than a vinaigrette – this version of a Green Goddess. If you've seen Limestone lettuce at your market, give it a try and enjoy a change from the usual.  Lettuces struggle in the heat of mid-summer so now would be the time to look, or again in the fall.

Green Goddess Dressing             

This makes enough for about 8 salads. If anchovies make you nervous or you’re a vegetarian, skip them. But if not, know that you won’t taste anchovies per se. They add depth and mystery to the dressing, but not a flavor that screams anchovies. (Many people are anchovy phobic, I’m sure from getting horrible rancid ones on pizzas, but fresh from the can or jar, they won’t be rancid, just delicious.)

This dressing is also good mixed with whole grains and vegetables for an impromptu summer salad, is delicious over baked potatoes, and as a sauce for the last of the asparagus.

Ingredients

1/4 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup yogurt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 anchovies
1/2 cup chopped herbs: parsley, tarragon and chives, mixed
1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar or apple cider vinegar, if needed
sea salt, if needed

Preparation

98-365 98-364 77-888 77-881 70-686 70-533 70-532 70-461 70-413 70-235 648-385 642-999 642-980 642-617 642-457 642-447 640-916 640-554 412-79 352-011 300-135 251-422 251-265 220-801 220-302 210-065 210-015 200-001 1z1-866 1z0-895 1z0-855 1z0-803 1z0-518 1z0-501 1z0-255 1z0-133 1z0-117 1z0-067 1z0-055 1z0-051 102-400 102-350 070-547 070-544-csharp 070-410 070-215 000-614 000-117 98-366 98-365 98-364 77-888 77-881 70-686 70-533 70-532 70-461 70-413 70-235 648-385 642-999 642-980 642-617 642-457 642-447 640-916 640-554 412-79 352-011 300-135 251-422 251-265 220-801 220-302 210-065 210-015 200-001 1z1-866 1z0-895 1z0-855 1z0-803 1z0-518 1z0-501 1z0-255 1z0-133 1z0-117 1z0-067 1z0-055 1z0-051 102-400 102-350 070-547 070-544-csharp 070-410 070-215 000-614 000-117 00M-609 070-512 OG0-021 310-202 9A0-044 70-228 510-014 E22-315 HT0-102 BR0-003 640-460 HP3-025 920-181 C8311 9L0-010 000-351 50-663 9A0-086 9L0-401 644-906 050-895 640-864 HP0-D08 074-139 920-336 GB0-320 920-447 CPCM 70-401 000-288 HP0-Y36 SPS-200 000-751 HP2-N36 CAT-060 C6040-754 000-P01 MB7-224 350-029 P2090-010 C4060-080 70-296 HP0-417 200-530 1T6-521 C2010-005 MB5-627 642-164 HP2-N27 MB3-461 642-577 000-617 RF0-001 700-104 1Z1-141 P2170-036 74-135 HP5-H04D C_HANASUP_1 000-J02 70-244 70-487 HC-722-CHS E20-485 ICDL-Windows 000-723 074-137 70-529 A2010-579 70-162 310-600BIG5 MB5-856 MB5-857 MB5-858 MB6-202 MB6-203 MB6-204 MB6-205 MB6-206 MB6-282 MB6-283 MB6-284 MB6-285 MB6-288 MB6-291 MB6-295 MB6-502 MB6-503 MB6-504 MB6-506 MB6-507 MB6-508 MB6-509 MB6-510 MB6-511 MB6-512 MB6-513 MB6-527 MB6-700 MB6-817 MB6-818

Combine all the ingredients in a small food processor and blend until smooth and pale green.  Taste, add the vinegar if needed and salt. If you used anchovies, you may not need the salt.

Makes about 1 cup