I feel like I need to divide this gem lettuce salad post into three sections:
- The gem lettuce leaves (where did they come from and why are they on every menu in town?)
- The delicious dressing featuring Calabrian chiles (where did they come from and why are they on every menu in town?)
- Jon & Vinny’s, the restaurant in LA where I first encountered this salad (I know where Jon & Vinny come from. They’re the guys behind some of the best menus in town – Trois Mec, Petit Trois, Animal and Son of a Gun)
However, three whole sections of words sound like a lot of work. It’s summer. Summer is about minimizing effort (at least on this blog it is). Same goes for summer cooking. Summer salads are how we summer cooks minimize work in the kitchen and capitalize on the best the season has to offer. Summer is when great fruit and vegetables are plentiful – making our jobs so easy that we still have time to work on our tans.
As much as I love cooking I really don’t want to be a pasty-faced cook who spends forever in the kitchen. Summer salads that serve as meals tend to be the answer. They require very little hands-on work, leaving me (and you) more time to spend poolside.
Which means this Gem Lettuce Salad post is going to be brief. As brief as a summer breeze…
Gem Lettuce Salad with Calabrian Chiles, Parmesan and Bread Crumbs
Before I slip out onto the patio let me wrap this post up by saying that this Gem Lettuce Salad is an especially memorable take on a Caesar salad. It features a sensational dressing flavored with Worcestershire sauce, anchovies, sour cream and Calabrian chiles. It’s not my recipe. It comes from Jon (Shook) & Vinny (Dotolo) – who I guess have better things to do than work on their tans. GREG