Romaine Salad with Cracked Olives and Salted-Lemon Yogurt

Active Time: 15 MINTotal Time8 HR 15 MIN
Yield: Serves : 12

Marinating the lemon flesh with salt mellows its acidity while intensifying its fragrant citrus pop. It takes the creamy yogurt dressing in chef Biju Thomas’ refreshing salad to an entirely new level of deliciousness. You also can use store-bought preserved lemon rind in a pinch.
Slideshow: More Romaine Salad Recipes


  • 2 small lemons

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (not Greek-style)

  • 1 (1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced 

  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, leaves separated and torn, if desired

  • 1 English cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion, rinsed 

  • 1 cup pitted green olives (such as Cerignola or Castelvetrano)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds

How to Make It

Step 1    

Using a Y-shaped vegetable peeler, remove peel from lemons, leaving the white pith. Place peel strips in a bowl. Using a small, sharp knife, remove and discard pith. Cut lemons into 1-inch pieces, and place in bowl with peel strips. Rub salt into lemon mixture until sandy. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight.

Step 2    

Process lemon pieces, yogurt, and ginger in a blender until smooth. Transfer to an airtight container, and chill until ready to serve.

Step 3    

Arrange lettuce, cucumber, onion, and olives on a large rimmed platter.

Step 4    

Heat a small skillet over medium. Add cumin seeds, and cook, stirring often, until toasted and fragrant, about 1 minute.

Step 5    

Drizzle salad with some of the yogurt dressing, and sprinkle with toasted cumin. Serve immediately with remaining dressing. 

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