If you ever visit Washington State, you have to make sure to spend at least a weekend on Orcas Island. The food, water sports, hiking, the views ... it never disappoints. However, one of our favorite restaurants, a very small Italian bistro-style restaurant is no longer there and that has led to disappointment, for sure. I recreated this Grilled Romaine Salad that the chef, Bill Patterson, made for us so at least I still have that!
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I know grilling lettuce sounds really weird, but grilling it brings a bit of smoky char, but it also brings out the natural sweetness that we often overlook in lettuce. Then the tomatoes and cheese bring acid and saltiness. It sounds like the epitome of Samin Nosrat's book, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat!
Start by making the vinaigrette for the Grilled Romaine Salad so that when you take the lettuce off the grill, you can top it and eat right away. I usually use a jar to shake it up.
Use full heads of romaine lettuce and cut them in half lengthwise, then drizzle them with olive oil. Put them on the grill cut side down for about a minute or until it starts charring slightly. This takes about a minute is all! Then turn them over and do the same thing.
I like to make this salad when I'm grilling steaks or chicken so I wait until the meat is done, then grill the lettuce while the meat is resting. It's perfect timing.
How to serve Grilled Romaine Salad
Once you get it off the grill, place the lettuce cut side up on a large platter (because I think that's prettier), top it with the chopped tomatoes, and drizzle as much of the vinaigrette over as you like. Finally, grate some fresh parmesan cheese on top and serve it with some lemon wedges to squeeze over.
Other recipes you might like:
Grilled Romaine Salad
- 2 hearts Romaine cut in half lengthwise (Don't cut off too much of the root end or else it will fall apart on the grill.)
- olive oil
- ½ cup tomatoes chopped small
- Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- ½ cup olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Make the Citrus Vinaigrette by mixing everything in a small jar and shaking to combine.
- Drizzle the cut Romaine hearts with olive oil and place cut side down on a medium-hot grill. Grill till marks show on the lettuce and it is barely wilting. Using tongs, turn to the other side, and grill the same way. It usually only takes about a minute per side.
- Remove to a platter. Top with chopped tomatoes, drizzle with Citrus Vinaigrette, and grate the cheese on top.
- Serve immediately.