I’ve never been much of a butter lettuce person, always finding it pleasant enough but not especially exciting on the palate. That is, until I started eating the butter lettuce we grow at Granor Farm. Good butter lettuce has large, delicate leaves and a deep, grassy flavor that’s usually found in darker greens. This salad came from my desire to showcase those leaves by serving them whole and not drowning them in dressing. By fanning all the ingredients out horizontally and dressing them in layers, the flavor of the leaves shines through with support from the stronger flavors of buttermilk and tomatoes. Plus, any time I can dress a vegetable with something as often overlooked as straight buttermilk, it feels like a victory!
Abra Berens is like a kid in a candy store, except her candy store is Granor Farm in southwest Michigan, where, as the head chef, she is immersed in a bounty of freshly harvested vegetables. She firmly believes that “the meals we eat should change with the seasons, and their ingredients should come from nearby,” a philosophy she’s honed over a decade of experience as a farmer and chef. At Granor Farm, Berens channels her passion into creating unique dinners with the produce grown just steps from the farmhouse door. These communal meals (served in the farmhouse) reinforce the direct connection between the farm and diners’ plates, celebrating the diverse agriculture of the region and giving guests a behind-the-scenes look at organic farming.