Leaf lettuce in a buttermilk dressing is a longtime American country favorite. The recipe combines this classic rural flavor with the French tradition of chilled lettuce soup.
- 3 T. butter, divided
- ¼ cup finely chopped shallots
- 2 small heads Boston, Bibb or Buttercrunch lettuce, leaves separated, rinsed and dried
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 6 cups buttermilk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cayenne or paprika to garnish
Pour buttermilk into large bowl or saucepan. In a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add shallots, increase heat to medium-high and sauté until softened. Remove from heat and add shallots to buttermilk, stirring thoroughly.
Prepare the lettuce by stacking several leaves and rolling them up together. Slice each roll into thin strips.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of butter in the skillet and add lettuce strips. Sauté for about three minutes, until lettuce is wilted. Stir lettuce strips and parsley into buttermilk-shallot mixture, then blend with an immersion blender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill at least three hours.
To serve, ladle into chilled soup bowls and sprinkle with cayenne or paprika. Serves 4 to 6.