Grilled romaine salad eats like a main course

By ELIZABETH KARMEL The Associated Press - Published: June 12, 2013 | 12:00 am 0

My approach to food is simple. I firmly believe that if you can eat it, you can grill it. I paired my grilled romaine classically, with a homemade blue cheese dressing and crispy apple wood smoked bacon. It's the ultimate steakhouse wedge salad. And it's perfect for Dad on Father's Day.

The real beauty of this recipe is how the heat of the grill wilts and caramelizes the lettuce, intensifying the flavor and adding a wisp of smoke. The texture becomes crispy on the edges and silky inside. Mix that with the rich and slightly pungent blue cheese and the salty, smoky bacon, and you've got a salad that eats like a main course.

GRILLED HEARTS OF ROMAINE WITH BLUE CHEESE DRESSING

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Servings: 4

1/4 cup mayonnaise 2 tablespoons sour cream 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese (more or less to taste) 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1/2 tablespoon grated shallot 1 clove garlic, grated Kosher salt and ground black pepper 2 hearts of romaine lettuce, halved lengthwise Olive oil 4 slices apple wood smoked bacon, diced and cooked until crisp

Procedure

To make dressing, in a medium bowl combine mayonnaise, sour cream, blue cheese, lemon juice, shallot and garlic. Mix, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours to allow flavors to develop.

When ready to prepare the salads, heat the grill to medium-low.

Lightly brush all 4 romaine halves on all sides with olive oil. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Using a pair of tongs, place the lettuce directly on the cooking grates cut side down. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Do not grill longer; the lettuce should be slightly raw and crunchy at the center. Remove to a clean platter and let rest for 5 minutes.

Place each half on a serving plate, then drizzle with blue cheese dressing and top with the diced bacon. Serve immediately.

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