Charred Baby Cos Lettuce with Herbed Oat Buttermilk Dressing

Cos lettuce gets a glow-up in this super refreshing summer salad, layered with a beautifully herbed, citrus-infused creamy dressing and fresh pops of grapefruit!

Preparation time Prep: 10 mins
cook 10 mins
Skill level Easy Peasy

You will need:

  • 2 baby cos, cut in half lengthwise
  • 10ml vegetable oil
For the dressing
  • 4 sprigs parsley
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • ½ bunch chives
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly toasted
  • 100ml plant-based cream (e.g. soy or coconut based)
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 1 cheek preserved lemon
  • Salt and pepper
To finish
  • 1 ruby red grapefruit
  • 5 strands chives, finely chopped
Recipe: Simon Toohey


  • 1Pour the vegetable oil on your hands and then rub your hands over the cut side of the cos. With the medium stove burner on high, place a cake rack or an oven shelf over it and place the cos on, listening to it crackle and sizzle. If you don't have gas, a bbq would work and if not a bbq then a very hot heavy based pan will work fine too, it just won’t have the same smokey flavour, but still delicious.
  • 2Cook each cos for a couple of minutes until the edges of the leaves are blackened and you can see the inner leaves releasing it’s moisture. Lay each one on your serving dish.
  • 3While they cool, in a mortar and pestle place add the parsley leaves and a little salt and grind them to a paste, then add the thyme leaves and do the same and then the same with the chives. Finely add the fennel seeds, cream, lemon juice, dice up the preserved lemon and add that to the mixture, no longer grinding to a paste but stirring to mix together.
  • 4Spoon over the charred lettuce. Then using a sharp knife cut off the peel and pith of the grapefruit and cut out segments, scatter them over the top of the lettuce and serve with some chives.
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