Grilled Romaine

The hot, dry temperatures we’ve been having lately mean that a lot of our lettuce greens are more bitter than usual. That can’t be helped. But you can turn those bitter greens to your advantage by grilling them.  Grilling your greens may seem an unlikely choice, but done properly it will turn them tender, juicy, and sweet. The parmesan in this dish adds wonderful a savory note.

Grilled Romaine


For the dressing:

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon bacon grease
  • 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  •  Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

For the salad:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, tops and bottoms trimmed neatly, the heads cut lengthwise into quarters
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan


First, turn on your gas grill to high, lower cover and heat for 15 minutes, then turn burners down to medium.

Meanwhile, make the dressing: Whisk together the minced garlic, the mayonnaise and the mustard until they form a paste. Then, while continuing to whisk, add the olive oil and the vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Then, make the salad: Trim the tops and bottoms off the Romaine lettuce, and cut the heads length-wise into quarters. Drizzle the olive oil. Lightly grill these  15 to 20 seconds on each side, until they are lightly golden, then remove. Brush or spoon the dressing over the lettuce, making sure to get dressing between the leaves. Sprinkle the lettuce with Parmesan and cover the grill for 1 or 2 minutes to allow the cheese to melt and the lettuce to soften further. Remove lettuce , and serve immediately.

This recipe is adapted from one that appeared on the New York Times food blog.