Monday, July 4, 2011
It sounds downright bizarre -- grilling lettuce? Putting half a heart of romaine directly on the grill? Really? When my sister-in-law told me about it, I thought she was nuts. I searched online and found bunches of recipes with rave reviews. There are many many different variations on this, and a quick search of "grilled romaine salad" will get you all sorts of ideas on how to dress it up. Here's a basic recipe that makes enough for two people.
GRILLED ROMAINE SALAD
1 heart of romaine lettuce
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and/or lemon juice
1. Preheat a grill to medium high.
2. Rinse and pat dry the lettuce. Cut it in half lengthwise. Brush the entire surface (the cut side and the uncut side) of the lettuce lightly with the olive oil.
3. Place the lettuce on the grill and turn it over every minute or so for about 4-5 minutes total. The lettuce should be a little charred, but not burnt. Some of the leaves at the end will be a little wilted.
4. Slice across the width of the lettuce and put it on a plate. Sprinkle with just a tiny bit of sea salt (and/or drizzle a little lemon juice over the leaves) and serve warm.
We grilled up some chicken breasts that were only sprinkled with a little bit of seasoned salt and put slices of that on top of the salad along with some shaved parmesan-romano cheese curls. It was EXCELLENT. The salad didn't need any sort of dressing at all. The original recipe we followed had instructions for a citrus vinaigrette to put on top, but I think that would have hidden the yummy smoky flavor. This would also be excellent with grilled steak, shrimp, or pork, I bet. Some recipes called for grilled vegetables to be added as well. Ooh -- I bet grilled corn on the cob would be delicious to cut off and sprinkle on top! I'm all pumped to try this again with all sorts of different variations.
Here is the salad before I devoured it in about 20 seconds flat:
Aaaaand here are my knucklehead children who wouldn't even try a bite of the salad. I think Petey ate a bit of the chicken, but I can't be entirely sure. I was too busy exclaiming over our culinary brilliance and stuffing my face to notice what he was doing.