On a recent rushed trip into Cosco to grab a few essentials, I took a swing through the produce section to see what was in need for that week when I spied the jumbo pack of romaine lettuce. While I am usually a pretty rational shopper and would normally stop to think if I really needed 6 large heads of lettuce in my life – today I was in a hurry, and being in a hurry removes all time to deliberate on good vs. bad decisions. So, on a whim, and a prayer that it maybe would make me eat only healthy salads for the following week or so, I grabbed it and tossed it into my cart. I had done this once before around the beginning of the year, and surprisingly had managed to consume at least a head of lettuce a day without getting sick of it. For lunch I would eat a yummy greek salad with feta, kalamata olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, and then would try to find some creative way to incorporate lettuce it into dinner . This time around however didn’t quite go as planned. Because I’m on the mend from a month long sinus infection, I found myself only craving comfort foods, and NOT lettuce.
In my struggle to find a way to use the lettuce before it went bad, oh yeah and try to eat better too, I decided I needed to find a way to make this lettuce into something desirable – something that looked more appealing to me than the leftover birthday cake on my counter that kept staring at me, taunting me…. Anyway, my thoughts turned to a warm Caesar salad – not with warm dressing, rather with warm, grilled lettuce. I patted myself on the back for coming up with this idea given that it was the best of both worlds, warm and comforting, and somewhat healthy. I’d grilled this romaine lettuce a few times before and it turned out great. I pulled the leaves off, brushed each with a vinaigrette, and grilled them for just a few minutes – it was deliciousness, well as delicious as lettuce can be anyway – I mean we are talking lettuce, not like it’s birthday cake or anything [insert cake still staring at me here]. To simplify things this time around, I decided to grill the whole head split into two. Be sure to brush each half with olive oil, and pop them on the grill. All it takes is a few minutes on the grill on low heat with the cover open (we have charcoal, so sorry gas grill people – can’t give you an exact temp setting). If you don’t have a grill handy, you can always use a grill pan right on your stove, they turn out just the same.
To dress(ing) these babies up and transform them into their destiny as Caesar salad, I whisked together a super easy Caesar vinaigrette
While its not exactly comfort food, the warm lettuce,tangy dressing and smoothness of the eggs sure hit the spot. One head of lettuce down, five to go – wish me luck.
Grilled Romain Caesar Salad
- 1 head romaine lettuce, cut in half the long way
- 2-3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
- 1/4 cup Shaved Parmesan cheese
- Croutons to liking
- Caesar Vinaigrette (recipe below)
- 2 Tbs white wine vinegar
- 1 Tbs Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp Anchovy Paste