Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Grilled Caesar Salad

As Ina Garten would say, this is a classic with the volume turned up. Grilling the lettuce for a few minutes and serving it warm really gives it a whole different tasting experience than a traditional Caesar. It's simple and quick to put together. You can also use a bottled Caesar dressing if you don't want to make your own, but I think it's really worth whirling up your own in the food processor or blender. Originally I planned to keep the halves of the romaine together, but since I chopped off the ends, once it hit the grill, it fell apart. So next time I will leave the ends in tact if I want to serve it this way, but it still tasted great!


For the salad:
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce
  • Good Parmesan cheese, shaved (I used Parmigiano-Reggiano) 
  • Olive oil
For the dressing:
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup good Parmesan 
  • Salt and pepper 

In a food processor or blender, combine all the ingredients except the olive oil. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and whiz until the ingredients emulsify (the dressing won't be super thick). Set aside. 

Heat a grill pan on medium high heat. Coat each half of romaine with a drizzle of olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Place romaine cut side down on the grill pan for approximately 2 minutes, or until the lettuce is slightly wilted and has grill marks. Flip and let cook an additional minute on the other side.  This is the part where if you left your ends on you can just plate each half and drizzle with the dressing and shaved parm and serve. If you didn't like I didn't, cut each grilled half into 2 inch wide strips, toss with the dressing (FYI I had leftover dressing, it made a lot, but it will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks). Top with shaved Parm (the best way to do this is with a vegetable peeler) and voila! A delicious twist on the traditional Caesar! 

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