Corn and Cannellini Bean Salsa on Grilled Cos Lettuce

, from Issue #74. September, 2017
Photography by Josh Griggs.
Corn and Cannellini Bean Salsa on Grilled Cos Lettuce

Not a conventional way of serving lettuce but this lightly grilled version is delicious topped with the corn salsa and almond crema.

Serves: 4–6


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons dried tarragon
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 cup frozen corn kernels
400-gram tin cooked cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
8 cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
sea salt and ground pepper
To serve
3 tightly formed cos lettuces
olive oil
juice 1 lime
small handful fresh basil leaves
Almond Crema, see recipe below
toasted sliced almonds

Almond Crema
½ cup raw blanched almonds soaked in cold water for 12 hours
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon honey
1 chipotle chilli in adobo sauce, or more to taste for a spicer version
½ cup almond milk or regular milk
2 tablespoons sour cream


Heat the oil in a large sauté pan and add the garlic, tarragon, cumin seeds and the onion. Season and cook until the onion is soft. Increase the heat and add the corn and cook until lightly golden. Stir in the beans and tomatoes. Set aside to cool.

To assemble: Remove any straggly outside leaves and cut the cos in half or quarters if large, making sure each piece is attached at the stem end or they will fall apart.

Lightly brush the cut sides with oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a ridged grill plate and when hot, sear the lettuce on the cut sides for 1 minute. Transfer to a large platter.

Stir the lime juice and basil into the corn salad and spoon over the lettuce. Drizzle with some of the Almond Crema and toasted almonds. Serve the remaining crema separately.

Almond Crema
Use this versatile sauce as a dip for crudité, serve with fish and lamb or drizzle over grain salads.

Drain the almonds and place in a blender with the salt, honey, chilli and ¼ cup of the milk.

Blend until coarsely chopped then add the remaining milk and blend until smooth. Add the sour cream and blend again.

Taste and season, if needed. Makes about ¾ cup