We recently tried a new restaurant for dinner and Scott’s tuna was served with a wonderful side of smokey, char-grilled romaine. I remember thinking, “oh, we should try this sometime.” A week or so later, I found some small heads of fresh romaine at Costco and the package said “perfect for grilling.” We heated up the grill and though Scott was a bit skeptical about the best way to grill it (use a grill pan, on foil or just on the grill?), we went for it, straight on the grill. Even though we had never tried this before, didn’t have a recipe, and didn’t even Google it, it turned out great – a perfect “creative recipe” kind of dish! This is how we did it… Ingredients: Small fresh romaine, trimmed, cleaned and halved lengthwise Extra virgin olive oil Salt and pepper to taste Your favorite balsamic dressing (I made a quick dressing with 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and some herbs) Directions: Heat the grill to medium. Brush the romaine all over with some olive oil.
Place cut side down on the grill. Turn occasionally to desired degree of char-grilled-ness (I am pretty sure I just made up that word.)
When you’re happy with your results, transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with some coarse salt and cracked pepper and drizzle with balsamic dressing. A bit more to the story…. That perfect looking romaine half, nicely held in the grill tongs above, soon began to fall apart, meaning the outer leaves came loose. This made Scott a little nervous, being a more precise kind of grill chef, and he turned the romaine over to me. I wasn’t fazed in the least, kind of liking the idea of the outer leaves getting some good grill time on their own – for some extra smokey char-grilled-ness.
And the end result both looked and tasted spectacular. We had compact halves that were char-grilled and even a bit crunchy in the center, along with some extra char-grilled, bit more wilted outer leaves. Perfectly delicious! (If you’re more precise, perhaps a skewer stuck horizontally through the romaine would prevent the outer leaves escaping in the future.) While we ate dinner, Scott started thinking of all kinds of ways to trick this up with various dressings, some diced roasted beets, some goat cheese crumbles, and on and on. Whether you go basic or more creative, the grill part is simple, simple, simple. Have fun!