One look at this grilled romaine caesar salad and it's clear this new twist on an American favorite is brilliant! It's simple to prepare and will wow your guests. Even my 12-year-old is a big fan of this delicious Steven Raichlen Signature Recipe.
Grilled Hearts of Romaine with Caesar Dressing, prepared by Steven Raichlen. Photo by Nancy Loseke.
4 large but compact hearts of romaine (8 if they're small)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or more as needed
1-1/2 cups Caesar Dressing (recipe follows)1 chunk (6 ounces) Parmigiano-Reggiano for shaving over the salad
Freshly ground or cracked black peppercorns
1/4 cup finely chopped chives, for serving
1. Strip any blemished or wilted leaves off the romaine hearts. Cut each heart in half lengthwise, leaving the stem end attached. Place the cut side under cold running water and rinse it thoroughly, gently separating the leaves with your fingers but leaving them attached to the stem. Rinse all of the lettuce until clean. Gently shake off the water, and if you have one, put the lettuce in a salad spinner and spin dry. (Alternatively, let the romaine drain on paper towels, cut sides down.) Refrigerate if not using immediately.
2. Make the dressing according to the following recipe. Cover and refrigerate if not using immediately. (The dressing can be prepared up to 3 days ahead.)
3. Light your Angara grill and heat to high. Brush and oil the grill grates.
An Angara grill table, all ready for your autumn Social Grilling party.
4. Place the romaine hearts on the grates, cut sides down, and grill until they develop grill marks, 1 to 2 minutes. (The lettuce should remain raw.)
5. Cut off and discard the stem ends. Transfer the grilled romaine hearts to a platter or plates, cut sides up. Spoon the Caesar Dressing over the hearts. Using a cheese slicer or vegetable peeler, shave the cheese over the salad. Sprinkle the salad with pepper and chives and serve at once.
Yield: 1-1/2 cups
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
3 small oil-packed anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped (optional)
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, coarsely chopped or grated
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 large egg, preferably pasteurized
3/4 cup premium extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (sea or kosher), or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
1. Place the garlic, anchovies, if using, cheese, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and egg in a blender and purÃ©e to a smooth paste. With the motor running, gradually add the olive oil, lemon juice, and vinegar.
2. Add the salt and pepper and process until a smooth, creamy dressing forms. Taste for seasoning. The dressing can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 3 days.