Somewhere recently, I had the most delicious grilled romaine lettuce–it was cut lengthwise, and grilled, probably in a wood-burning oven. I know what you’re thinking, “grilled lettuce?!” Why would anyone grill lettuce? Well, anyone who lived salad will definitely love grilled lettuce, you just haven’t tried it yet.
What Is Romaine Lettuce And Why Would I Grill It?
Romaine is a variety of long-leafed lettuce that’s crispy with a mild flavor. Great for cold salads (it’s the sole lettuce in a traditional Caesar Salad), it’s sturdy enough to hold up for a brief stint on the grill. Because the temperatures of grills can vary greatly, you’ll need to keep an eye on the lettuce to determine when it’s done. It should take fewer than 8 minutes. Take the romaine off the grill when all sides are lightly charred.
Due to its crispy nature, grilling romaine lettuce helps brings out its absolute flavor and crunch. Well, since you’re already hooked, let’s get prepping.
- 3 to 4 romaine hearts
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (or cider vinegar)
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Pinch freshly ground black pepper
- Pull off any old leaves. Chop off the top 1 or 2 inches of the lettuce head, and shave off the browned part of the root end, leaving the root end intact so that the lettuce head stays together.
- Turn your gas grill to high or get your charcoal coal grill very hot
- Put the oil, vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk with a fork to combine. Paint the lettuce hearts all over with the vinaigrette.
- Grill the romaine hearts until lightly browned on all sides, turning every minute or two until done.
- Serve immediately. You can either serve the hearts whole, or chop them and toss them for a salad
Serve grilled romaine right away. You can serve it whole, as is. The herbed vinaigrette will have flavored it nicely. Or, you can sprinkle the whole hearts with Parmesan cheese. To be a little decadent, drizzle on blue cheese dressing and toss on some bacon crumbles.
You can also chop up the grilled romaine and use it as a base for a salad.
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