I get it. I love a salad. But put lettuce on my sandwich or hamburger and I probably will just pass all together. And if it is shredded lettuce, forget it. At least the large leafs are easy to remove! But I have had grilled lettuce. I remember the first attempt - one of my previous jobs. The chef thought it would be a great idea to serve a Grilled Caesar Salad. Only we were serving 600 people, and well, that stuff needs to be served right away. When moved to a "twenty-person only" menu and served fresh, the lettuce is a little warm, slightly charred, and takes on the smoky grill flavor. Pair with cold, creamy buttermilk dressing and the contrast makes for a great salad.
The first night I made this, I chopped up tomatoes and threw them on top. But something wasn't right. The next evening I decided to roast the tomatoes with some garlic & olive oil until they burst, adding something a little more to the salad. Holy cow...I see us buying a lot more Romaine in the future and firing up the grill. Plus, Jason and I both hate chopping up the lettuce for salad. That would be why it usually goes bad before we eat it. This makes prep super fast and we're both happy with that.
Grilled Romaine with Buttermilk Dressing adapted from Southern Living
- 2 hearts of Romaine, halved
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
- 1/2 pint grape tomatoes
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- shredded Parmesan cheese
Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add in grape tomatoes, crushed garlic and salt & pepper to taste. Heat through, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes wilt or burst.
Heat the grill to a medium-high heat. Brush the Romaine halves with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill, cut side down, for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until wilted. Remove from the grill, top with tomatoes, dressing and Parmesan cheese. This is best served just after grilling.
Buttermilk Chive Dressing
- 3/4 cup buttermilk (I make mine with skim milk)
- 1/2 cup light mayo
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- 1 tablespoon chopped green onion
- salt & pepper to taste.
Whisk together all of the ingredients; cover and chill until needed.