Sunday, April 19, 2015

Grilled Romaine Salad

I can see how the idea of hot, charred lettuce may sound a bit odd at first but after trying this salad, you may never go back.  All of the sudden, the romaine is crispy and crunchy but juicy and tender, and it takes on the all the flavors of what it is seasoned with.  I had eaten different grilled romaine salads in restaurants here and there, and always enjoyed them, but the thought of actually making it at home hadn't really occurred to me.  Mostly because I tend to eat more spinach and spring mix salads, so I do not have a lot of heads of romaine lettuce around often.  That however has changed because this gorgeous, healthy and super simple salad has become a staple in my home and hopefully will in yours too.  Romaine lettuce is considered a dark leafy green which contains many antioxidants and is packed with Vitamins A and C.  Not only is it healthy, it is also very affordable which makes this a wonderful salad to serve at a dinner party.  This recipe calls for so few ingredients, takes just minutes to prepare and is delicious hot or room temperature.  Next time you are busting out the grill, make sure to include this on your menu.  I promise you will not be disappointed!

This is what you need:

3 Hearts of Romaine
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 Lemon - juiced
Parmesan Shavings (or grated would be great too)

This is what you do:
Preheat grill to high and oil the racks so the lettuce does not stick.  You can also a grill pan for this too.  Wash and dry the romaine and remove the outer leaves with any bruising or other damage.  Cut the tips of the root off that are brown, leaving the majority on the head of lettuce and slice each in half.  Drizzle the oil, salt and pepper evenly over each half head of lettuce.  Place the lettuce cut side down right over the flame on the grill and let cook for 5-7 minutes, then flip.  Continue cooking for another 5 minutes or so, until the lettuce reached desired char.  Remove from heat, squeeze the lemon juice all over the lettuce and top with Parmesan shavings. Enjoy!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10-13 minutes
Serves: 1/2 to 1 full head per person

First thing is to preheat the grill and oil the rack so the lettuce doesn't stick.  Then, wash and dry lettuce and remove outer leaves.  Chop the brown bottom off of the core, leaving most of it on the head of lettuce.  This will ensure the leaves stay together when it is grilling.
 Lubing up.
Just remove the brown part, no one needs that.

Next, slice each lettuce head in half and drizzle the oil, salt and pepper all over the insides.  
As with everything, season it well.  Lettuce needs the flavor!

Place the lettuce cut side down right on the grill over the flames.  Cook for 5-7 minutes and flip.  Continue cooking for another 5 minutes or so and remove when the desired level of char is reached.  
I like it pretty charred, so I tend to leave mine on for a few minutes longer. 

Remove from grill and get the lemon and Parmesan ready.  Squeeze the lemon juice right over the lettuce and then add the cheese. 
Soooooo good!

And that is it!  The lemon adds the acidic bite and balance to the charred taste and texture and the Parmesan adds the delicious salty, cheesy bite.  This is a total winner of a salad and would be perfect alongside some grilled chicken, fish or steak.  Give this a shot and let me know what you think!