Summertime means firing up the grill, but not just for meat and fish. If you’re trying to increase your veggie intake, next time you throw some burgers or dogs on the grill, make room for some romaine lettuce. You won’t regret it! Romaine holds its shape on the grill and the inside layers soften while the outer layers get a delicious, smoky char on them. Unlike bland iceberg lettuce, romaine is packed full of vitamins K, A, and folate, and is a good source of fiber. You can dress it simply with lemon juice, olive oil, and parmesan cheese, or add any of your favorite salad toppings. In this recipe, the grilled romaine is topped with a balsamic tomato salad.
Grilled Romaine with Balsamic Tomato Salad
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 clove minced garlic
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (tarragon also goes well with tomatoes)
1lb of tomatoes – it’s fun to use a variety like cherry, heirloom, grape, etc.
1 6oz jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained.
1 1⁄2 cups mozzarella cheese, cubes or small balls
Feta or parmesan cheese – optional for sprinkling on composed salad
Mix together first five ingredients for dressing and toss in tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with basil and/or tarragon. Allow the salad to marinate in the dressing while you grill the romaine.
2 heads of romaine lettuce, cut vertically – each half will still be connected to the core and you will have 4 halves
2 tablespoons olive oil
Make sure grill grates are clean and turn to medium high.
Brush lettuce halves liberally with olive oil, cut side and back side. Then sprinkle each halve with some salt.
Grill for 3 minutes, cut side down, until the lettuce gets a good sear. Flip and grill for one or 2 more minutes. You can do this directly on the grill grates or use a vegetable grill pan.
Remove lettuce from grill and top with tomato salad and sprinkle with parmesan or feta cheese if desired.
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