And it couldn’t be easier! The trick to grilling leafy vegetables is keeping them nearly whole.
Try to grill a single leaf on its own, and it wilts and burns in seconds. But kept in a head, the leaves char slightly on the outside while the inner leaves remain juicy, quickly taking on the flavors of fire and smoke. Grilled romaine is dramatically different from its raw counterpart. Instead of tasting like watery refreshment, the lettuce takes on a meaty corpulence that is a welcome change of pace. For even more flavor and color, substitute radicchio (especially oval shaped Treviso radicchio) for one of the romaine heads.
Grilled Romaine Salad with Anchovy Mustard Vinaigrette Recipe
This salad will change the way you think about grilled vegetables. The grill keeps the lettuce juicy and crunchy but also imparts smoky, meaty flavors to the salad. Serve this one with a fork and a knife.
Makes. 4 servings
Takes. 5 minutes prep, 5 minutes cooking.
Serve with. Belgian blond ale, such as Duval
1 clove garlic
6 anchovy fillets
1 tablespoon brown mustard
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 heads romaine lettuce
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 teaspoon flake sea salt, such as Maldon or smoked Maldon
1) Fire up. Prepare a grill for indirect cooking by placing a chimney full of pre-heated charcoal briquets on one side of the grill’s charcoal grate in order to create direct and indirect cooking zones. Adjust the grill vents to bring the temperature to about 350°F on the indirect side. Add 2 to 3 chunks of your favorite smoking wood to the charcoal for flavor. On a gas grill, adjust the temperature knobs so that one half of the grill is off and the other half is heated enough to maintain a temperature of approximately 350°F on the indirect side.
2) Prep. Mince the garlic and put it in a salad bowl along with the anchovies. Use the back of a fork to mash together the garlic and anchovy into a paste. Whisk in the mustard and egg yolk, and then whisk in 1⁄2 cup of the oil a little at a time until thickened. Squeeze in all the juice from the lemon (through your hands to catch the seeds), and season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Whisk, then set aside.
3) Remove any loose leaves from the romaine and cut each head lengthwise into quarters. Coat the romaine quarters with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil.
4) Cook. Put the romaine quarters cut sides down on the grate directly over the fire and grill, turning once, just until grill marked, about 20 seconds per side. Using tongs, transfer the lettuce to the indirect side of the grill, positioning it cut sides up. Paint with half of the vinaigrette, getting the dressing down in between the leaves. Then shower with half of the cheese. Cover the grill and cook until the cheese just starts to melt and the ends of the lettuce wedges wilt, about 2 minutes.
5) Serve. Transfer the romaine to a platter. Dress with the remaining vinaigrette, a scattering of the remaining cheese, and a sprinkle of flake salt.
This recipe is adapted with permission from Williams-Sonoma Grill School by Andrew Schloss and David Joachim. This book features more than 100 easy recipes and 30 essential lessons for cooking on fire.