- ¼ cup tahini paste
- ¼ cup mixed herb* broth (Combine ½ cup each water and herbs; heat and steep overnight; strain out herbs; keep broth)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons garlic confit (Submerge garlic cloves in vegetable oil over very low heat; cook until soft. Or, substitute 1 clove fresh garlic, chopped.)
- 1 cup loosely chopped fresh herbs*
- ½ teaspoon sesame seeds
- Salt to taste
- 2 Little Gem lettuces
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ¾ cup pepitas (toasted)
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon salt, kosher
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup apple vinegar
- ¼ cup sugar, granulated
- 1 tablespoon pickling spice
- 1 teaspoon salt, kosher
- 2 Little Gem lettuce cores, halved
Prep the optional garnishes, if desired. Make the herb broth and garlic confit.
Combine all dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender and blitz until creamy and smooth. Season to taste with salt.
Wash lettuces, cut in half and core. Smoke or grill the lettuces with mesquite or pecan wood.
Dress gems with 1–2 tablespoons pickling liquid and tahini dressing to taste. Garnish with optional candied pepitas and pickled lettuce cores.
*Chervil, chives and tarragon are traditional but feel free to substitute parsley, green onion, fennel fronds, basil, dill or mint.
Combine sugar and maple syrup and bring to a rapid boil. Remove from the heat; add pepitas, turmeric and salt. Stir, spread out on a Silpat mat or an oiled baking sheet and cool.
Pickled Lettuce Core
Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and steep for at least an hour. Strain out spices retaining lettuce cores and pickling liquid.