Bowling for Lettuce

Prowling about our local Farmers’ Market recently, my eyes were suddenly transfixed upon the enchanting baskets freshly displayed at Fern Ridge Nursery’s booth, heads of red and green lettuce formed into lush hanging gardens, utterly dripping in natural abundance.

No question, this was a must have: a veritable bowl of instant salad to smartly grace my rear deck, only steps from my kitchen door. I envisioned self languishing on deck, fabulous lettuce positioned nearby, scissors casually poised, a small stylish dish of flavored olive oil on the ready for dipping. A snip, a dip, a knowing nod, too charming for words!

Moments later, puffed as the proud owner of a new pet dangling from its leash, I strutted off with my prize, handling instructions attached:

“Harvest outer leaves.
Inner leaves will continue to grow allowing you to enjoy fresh salads for weeks!”

Truth is, my lettuce basket was so beautiful, I could hardly bear to snip its perfect leaves, I could only stare for two days.

It took an arm load of zucchini, sweet peppers and red onions to shake my trance and thrust me into action. Fridge staples of Kalamata olives, pepperoncini, and a coveted block of Greek feta made it a no-brainer.

It was time to grill!

Grilled Greek Salad
A satisfying summer meal, with enough additional marinade to baste a small amount of fish, chicken, pork or beef .

2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt and dried red pepper flakes
3/4 cup olive oil
Grilled Vegetables
2 medium red onion, cut into 3/4-inch rounds
3 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into thick slices
3 small yellow squash, cut lengthwise into thick slices
2 medium red bell peppers, cut into 2″ wide pieces
2 medium green bell pepper, cut into 2″ wide pieces
10 cups mixed lettuce
1/4 cup fresh herbs, such as oregano, marjoram, mint, dill; more for garni
1 cup red baby tomatoes
1 cup Greek feta cheese, large crumble
1 cup Kalamata olives
1/2 cup pepperoncini pepper, slices
additional accompaniments: radishes, cucumber, grilled bruschetta

Prepare dressing/marinade, whisking in olive oil to emulsify.

Prepare grill and when coals are glowing: brush vegies with marinade and grill to mark on each side, about 4 minutes per side, do not over cook. Grill bread if making bruschetta, brushing with additional dressing if desired.

Assemble salad: arrange grilled items attractively on top of lettuce and fresh herbs, garnish as above. Pass dressing. Serves 4 as entree.~~

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