As discussed yesterday, Sweet Gem lettuce has found a happy home in the United States.

In each bite, you get the sweet, buttery taste of Boston, Bibb or butter lettuce with the robust texture and color of romaine. You can grill whole heads of Sweet Gem and drizzle them with your favorite vinaigrette; top with some shaved Parmesan for a new take on salad.

Start your grilling season with this tasty appetizer. All of the ingredients should be available at your local natural and organic food store.

Grilled Sweet Gem With Gorgonzola

Makes 8 to 10 salad servings

5 heads Sweet Gem lettuce
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot or red onion
3/4 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

Halve lettuce heads lengthwise. Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, shallots and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Baste lettuce generously with vinaigrette on both sides, and reserve balance of dressing.

Over high heat, place lettuce on grill, cut side down; grill 30 to 45 seconds. Turn and grill an additional 10 to 15 seconds.

For each serving, drizzle half a lettuce head (cut side up) with a small amount of vinaigrette; garnish with crumbled Gorgonzola. Serve immediately.

Recipe created for Tanimura & Antle by Dean Simon