Start your summer grilling off in a great way! This is an easy Caesar salad, made better by a few minutes on the grill and has become part of the Accidental Locavore's summer repertoire. This is really easy and if you want to make it even easier, you can use your favorite bottled dressing (but don't, the dressing is easy an super-delicious!). This started out from a recipe in the NY Times, but then I skipped half the steps...
1 large garlic clove, peeled
1 egg yolk (I used a jumbo egg, if you have smaller ones, you might want 2)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup olive oil (use a good quality oil)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1 head romaine lettuce, quartered the long way and gently washed
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Step 1: Light the grill.
Step 2: In the work bowl of a small food processor (I use a Cuisinart mini-chopper) put the mustard, egg yolk, garlic, anchovies, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Process until smooth. Add a few tablespoons of the oil and process until well combined. Add the rest of the oil, again processing until smooth. You want to to be the consistency of a thin mayonnaise. Taste and add salt and pepper and more oil if necessary
Step 3: With a pastry brush, brush the romaine quarters with the dressing on all sides, making sure to get it between the leaves. Lightly grill the lettuce on all sides, about 15 seconds on the back (leaf side) and 20-25 seconds on each side, until it starts to brown. Brush with the remaining dressing, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese, cover and grill for about 30 seconds until the cheese has started to melt (you want to cook the leafy side (the back) a little less than the sides, so that when you put the cheese on to melt you're not burning it). Serve and enjoy!
My verdict: this was a surprising hit! Recently, there have been lots of recipes for grilling salad, but I was a little skeptical... who needs to cook lettuce, when it's so good cold and crispy? We made this for friends for dinner and it was so good, we went back out, bought more romaine and made it the next day for lunch. There is something so good about the warm, almost charred outsides and the cool, crispy interior. Definitely worth a try! Surprisingly, for someone who doesn't like anchovies, I usually find myself adding more to the dressing. You could toss on some croutons, but you probably won't miss them. Also, now that we make this a lot, we generally just sprinkle the Parmesan on top when we serve it.