Yes — Grilled Romaine! I know this may seem odd, but seriously, don’t knock it until you try it.
I love romaine, Cory loves romaine — which means that this crunchy lettuce is a norm in this house. But it has always in the in the cold form, chopped up in a salad. I think it was on the Food Network, I remembered seeing lettuce being grilled, and I thought — Sounds simple enough, let’s try it. So easy. So simple. So delicious.
Oh, and did I mention this entire salad / side dish comes together in less than 10 minutes? By the time I send Cory outside to preheat the grill, I can split the Romain in half, give it a quick rinse to get out any sand or dirt hiding (When normally I’d grab the salad spinner, but we want to keep the heads together in this case), shake dry — and throw on the grill.
Last “fun fact” — We can each eat a head of lettuce! No lie. This took a while to sink in… “Yup, I just ate an entire head of lettuce… ” Maybe it’s the crisp of the lettuce, or the warm vinegar hidden in the leaves, or maybe it was the grilled smokeyness — but we each ate 2 halves. It was meant to be our side to our veggie burgers I was also grilling that evening — but the lettuce became the star of the show. Which was nice, so instead of eating two burgers each, one was definitely more than enough — and we were able to feel fully satisfied adding our new favourite (Super low cal – 106cals: I know, I know — I promised to stop with the “fun facts”) salad to this meal.
I love char marks. Even when I used to cook up chicken or steaks — I’m all about the char marks. If you worry about the char marks contributing to carcinogenic chemicals produced from the char marks, try grilling the lettuce on a sheet of aluminum foil, still on the grill. (You may need to use a bit of non-stick spray to ensure it doesn’t stick too much to the foil.) Again, these dangerous chemicals are more commonly found in meat products that are grilled or fried. Lettuce is certainly not a meat, but I encourage you to do your own research if you find char marks bothersome. Regardless — char marks, or no char marks — we can all start devouring this simple summer salad more often. Enjoy!
- Two Fresh, Crisp Romaine Hearts
- White Balsamic Vinegar
- Salt & Pepper
- Preheat BBQ. (I used a medium setting)
- Using a sharp knife, carefully cut each head of lettuce in half lengthwise. (Do not remove the base of the head of lettuce -- this will help keep all of the leaves together while grilling)
- Try your best to clean the lettuce, running each half of the head under the tap.
- Shake excess water our, and gently pat dry, trying to keep leaves from separating from its base.
- Place each half on the hot grill.
- After 30 seconds, use tongs to check and see if you have grill marks yet, if not, wait 30 more seconds, and check again.
- Carefully flip the halved lettuce to heat the other side.
- In 30-45 seconds, remove from grill, and pour on white balsamic vinegar while still warm. (Use as much or as little as desired. We added a generous tablespoon to each half)
- Sprinkle with Salt (if not avoiding) and Pepper. Enjoy