This is the salad I envisioned when I ordered the baby gem salad from Barrafina. Warm and garlicky, softly wilted around the edges but crunchy on the inside with a smoky charred flavour. So refreshing, and so easy to cook as well. I’ve made it three times already. Mind you, that’s 2 gem lettuces per pack so it was six meals in total. That’s how much I love it.
What I do is smear some sunflower oil (don’t bother using olive oil, it will just burn too easily) onto each lettuce that has been sliced half lengthways. Place it cut side down on a heated griddle pan for a few minutes until char marks form on it and turn it over once onto the other side to warm it. Use a standard frying pan if you don’t have a griddle pan.
Meanwhile, make the dressing. Chop 3 cloves of garlic. Heat up some sunflower oil and fry two fillets of anchovies, mashing them up as they sizzle and cook. Add the garlic and fry for a couple of minutes until they’re brown and crisp.
Pour the dressing over the lettuce and the salad’s ready to eat. I reckon it could be jazzed up with a few squeezes of lemon juice as well.