This is a dish that has never let Alexandra Dudley down receiving praise from even the firmest of salad haters. Lettuce can be a solemn dish at times; watery and flavourless with promise of a trimmer waist line perhaps but almost certainly no fun. Alexandra assures us that this is not that. This is lettuce well and truly dressed, packed with flavour and finished with a sprinkling of cheese. There is little not to love. Lovely served this along side grilled fish or meat but it is equally good atop something pulse based and can be enjoyed with almost anything. To make it vegan omit the cheese.
Remove any very sad looking leaves from the lettuce – a little floppy is fine but anything that has started to disintegrate should go (keep these for stock). Carefully slice the brown part of the root making sure to keep the lettuce intact.
Slice your gem hearts in half length-ways and arrange onto a plate.
Combine your dressing ingredients in a small bowl before coating your lettuces all over. You can use a pastry brush or drizzle over with a spoon and then use your hands for this.
Heat a grill or griddle pan to a high heat and grill the lettuce halves for about 3-4 minutes either side.
Transfer to a serving plate and grate over your pecorino.