Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Grilled Romaine Hearts with Caesar Vinaigrette

I'm a voracious reader of newspapers and magazines. When I'm reading them, I always keep an Exacto knife nearby to cut out any interesting recipes I come across. I have a huge stack of "To Be Tried" recipes on the right side of my desk. I eventually get to them and they end up in one of two places after I try them: my "Keeper Folder" or the trash.

This is a recipe by Ellie Krieger that I cut out of USA Today Magazine. I tried it this week and the whole family agreed it was a "keeper". It's a really nice change from your basic Caesar salad. But I am altering it in two ways. First, her recipe for the vinaigrette was only half the amount noted was not enough for 2 large hearts of romaine. Secondly, I added anchovies as I feel that anything called "Caesar" which omits anchovies has gone seriously off the tracks. Anchovies!!! Shout it out!!!

Here's Ellie's description of her salad: "This may be your first time grilling lettuce, but I'll bet it won't be your last. Here the romaine hearts retain their crispness but soften and char just enough to become luxurious."

For the Vinaigrette
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tabespoons lemon juice
2 small cloves of garlic processed through a garlic press (or finely minced)
2 anchovy filets, finely minced
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

For the Salad
2 romaine hearts, dark green outer leaves removed
4 tablespoons (or more) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Olive oil spray

  1. Preheat grill  to medium high heat.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together vinaigrette ingredients.
  3. Cut the romaine hearts in half lengthwise, leaving the ends intact so each half holds together (see photo above). Spray each lightly all over with the olive oil spray.
  4. Grill until grill marks form and the lettuce wilts slightly, about six minutes, turning once or twice.
  5. Serve drizzled with the vinaigrette and sprinkled with the Parmesan cheese.

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