A few years ago a good friend of mine introduced me to grilled Romaine lettuce. I’d grilled things you typically wouldn’t think of like fresh peach slices and pizza dough, but it hadn’t occurred to me to grill lettuce. After that night it became a regular thing at my house.
It’s so incredibly simple to do and yet the complex smoky grilled flavor belies the ease in preparation. After cutting a head of Romaine lettuce in half lengthwise, you brush it with olive oil, sprinkle it with salt and pepper and put it over medium high heat on a grill for 2-3 minutes. I do both sides, so the total cooking time is about 4-6 minutes.
Once it’s grilled, the possibilities are numerous. My favorite way is drizzled with Blue Cheese dressing and sprinkled with chopped fresh ripe tomatoes. A close second is drizzled with Ceasar salad dressing and sprinkled with long shavings of Parmesan cheese and croutons. There’s no end in sight to ingredients, a flavorful vinaigrette, goat cheese crumbles, roasted pecans, sliced tart apples. You get the idea.
I know the nutritional benefits of using a whole head of Romaine lettuce, so there you go that’s what I use. The three pack of Romaine hearts that most grocery stores conveniently sell and cut each in half are the convenient option.
If you want to make it an entree salad, serve sliced grilled chicken or beef on top of the grilled Romaine and drizzle on a favorite dressing.
Grilled Romaine Lettuce
Makes 4 servings
- 1 large head Romaine lettuce or two heads pre-packaged Romaine lettuce hearts
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
Preheat grill to medium heat.
Cut whole Romaine heads in half lengthwise and then cut in half again lengthwise if the head is large. Or for the Romaine hearts, cut each in half lengthwise.
Brush the cut side of each Romaine lettuce wedge with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper and put cut side down on the grill. Cook just until leaves are a bit wilted and lightly charred, about 2-3 minutes. Brush other side of Romaine with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; turn and grill just until wilted and leaves are lightly charred, about 2-3 minutes.
Serve Romaine warm or at room temperature.