October 6, 2009

Grilled Salad?

No, this is not a joke...you can actually grill lettuce. If you haven't tried this before I would highly encourage you to give it a whirl. The finished dish will certainly be memorable. Although I used a trimmed down whole head of romaine lettuce I would recommend buying the prepackaged hearts of romaine. The hearts of romaine are denser and easier to handle on the grill.
Romaine lettuce hearts
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Chopped bacon pieces

Prepare your gas or charcoal grill for direct heat. Allow the grill to come up to temp while the prep for this dish is finished in the kitchen. Wash and dry the romaine lettuce and slice each bundle in half. Lightly drizzle olive oil over each side of the lettuce. Sprinkle with kosher/sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Take the lettuce outside and grill each side briefly. The grilling goes quickly so don't leave the grill unattended. Total cooking time is only 30 to 45 seconds...just enough time to add a bit of grill flavor and wilt the lettuce a tad. Remove the lettuce halves from the grill and dress with balsamic vinegar, freshly grated parmesan cheese, and chopped bacon bits. As a more traditional alternative chop the grilled lettuce and place in a bowl. The lettuce can then be tossed with the same ingredients mentioned above. Please don't hesitate to send me your feedback. My family enjoyed this recipe and I would love to hear your comments.