This week at Think Tasty we are focusing on grilled foods. You may wonder why we would choose the last week of September to focus on a warm-weather activity, especially when our parent company is based in chilly, old New Hampshire. Well, there are a few reasons.
- First, nothing defies the arrival of colder weather like a little bit of outdoor cooking. It is our way of saying, “You can’t make me shiver, fall!”
- Second, next week is Fire Prevention Week. This week dedicated to grilled food is a lame attempt at humor. You know, a grill is a fire kept under control? (We won’t wait for the laughter.)
- Third, we know that some of our readers live in climates where there’s no snow and chilly means 50 degrees. Those lucky people are in the middle, not at the end, of grilling season.
So, with grilled food in mind, I began to think about what recipe I’d share. We do grill on a fairly regular basis during the warmer months. Over the season, we make so many different things, from simple burgers to flatbread pizzas to fruit desserts. Then there is one of my favorite dishes (grilled or not)- Caesar salad. This spin on it adds a lovely bit of umami.
Romaine is the ideal lettuce for this salad. Of course, romaine is the traditional lettuce in a caesar salad, but it also has a firm core, which helps hold it together when grilling. Green or red leaf lettuce seems too flimsy to hold up to the grill. Iceberg lettuce has better structure but has no flavor or color; not my ideal choice for almost any salad.
Grilling the lettuce is fast. Save it for the last minutes of cooking while any meat you have cooked is resting. Give it a try; you might find that you’re hooked. If you’re feeling ambitious, making your own Caesar salad dressing, too!
Editor’s Note: We are celebrating Fire Prevention Week all week on our sister site, Holidays Helper. Check out this firefighter helmet craft that the kids will have a great time playing with.
- 1 large head Romaine lettuce
- Olive oil
- Parmesan cheese, shredded
- Anchovies, optional
- Caesar dressing
- Salt & pepper
- Additional toppings, such as grilled chicken, shrimp, or steak tips
- Preheat grill.
- Cut lettuce in half lengthwise. Rinse and drain well.
- Apply oil to cut-side of each half of the lettuce.*
- Place lettuce cut-side down on grill. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until just browning at edges.
- Flip and grill for 1 additional minute.
- Transfer lettuce to dinner plates, cut-side up.
- Top with parmesan, anchovies, dressing, salt, and pepper.
- Finish with chicken, shrimp, or steak, if desired.
- *I use a pastry brush so that there is less oil. If you prefer more, you can drizzle oil directly onto the lettuce.