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by on June 12th, 2011

Grilled Romaine Salad

Grill lettuce?  Yes, and it is delicious.

Right off the grill. Give it a few chops and you are ready for another new salad recipe.

This is grilling season and we grill everything around this house — just about any kind of fruit, all kinds of fish, meats and sausages, and all sorts of vegetables. So, why not salad? Have you ever considered grilling lettuce?

Over the last few years I have seen chefs do this on different cooking shows and last year I tried this for the first time. I can’t believe it has taken me this long to getting around to posting the recipe.

I don’t think it ever gets too hot or even too cold that we don’t cook out when the mood hits. We decided to grill some fish one night and I though, why not give my husband one more thing to do. After all, that will give me one less thing to do and more time to do something else. As always, I made some changes to the original recipe which was just romaine, oiled and grilled.

There are several ways you can do this recipe. One is to just brush the halved romaine with oil, grill and then drizzle dressing over the grilled romaine. The other is to take the cut romaine and put in Ziploc bags and add the dressing to marinated about 15 minutes before grilling.  When grilled, top with toasted pine nuts (optional) and sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese. This time I did the recipe, I brushed the halved romaine with some of the balsamic dressing, grilled on flat side first until it was nice and grilled, turned it and grilled a few more minutes. I did use the pine nuts and Parmesan cheese and it was fantastic.

I know you will look at these pictures and see a mushy bunch of lettuce that looks like someone forgot it in the refrigerator about a month after it’s prime but this was the sweetest tasting salad. I think grilling the lettuce brings out some sweetness and then of course the balsamic in the dressing adds to the perfection of this recipe.

I toasted my pine nuts in a spice toaster. But, you can use a skillet, a sieve or do them in the oven.

Before grilling, I brushed this with a little of the balsamic dressing.

Grilled Romaine Salad

2 large head romaine lettuce, rinsed and cut in half
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 c. toasted pine nuts

Dressing:
1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. dried minced onion
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Cut the head(s) of romaine in half lengthwise. Brush with a little olive oil. Grill romaine over heated grill for about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from grill. Drizzle dressing over salad, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts.

Or, do as I mentioned above and marinate cut romaine in the dressing for 15 minutes before grilling, grill, then top with nuts and Parmesan cheese.

**Note:  Buttermilk Ranch dressing or Caesar dressing is also good served with this salad. You can serve this 1/4 – 1/2 head per person or when it comes off the grill give it a chop a few times.

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