Heat, fire and smoke can have amazing transformative powers sometimes. That is certainly the case with grilled romaine. When we first heard about it, we thought, “How good could grilled lettuce possibly be?” The answer is “Better than you can imagine.”
So here’s what you do: start with a head or two or more of romaine lettuce. Split them in half lengthwise, and drizzle with olive oil. Then put them on a hot grill with the cut side down. Be careful that the olive oil doesn’t cause the flame to completely engulf the romaine—if it does you’ve used too much. A couple of minutes later, turn the romaine over and grill the other side. There’s really not much to this except figuring out how done you like it and being careful not to burn it to a crisp.
Use the picture here as a guide. The result is surprisingly tasty, and you’ll find that the romaine has taken on a crisp texture more like cabbage or stir-fried bok choy than lettuce, and a smoky grilled taste that is delicious. Cut the grilled romaine into bite size chunks and eat them as they are or drizzled with a dressing like the one below. Our grilled romaine has sometimes disappeared before the rest of our meal was prepared, so make enough to nibble on while you set the table.
Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing
1 1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
Combine all ingredients except the oil. Whisk ingredients while adding oil (slowly and in a thin stream) until emulsified. Keep refrigerated.