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Grilled Caesar Salad

You know what I absolutely hate? When you get a sandwich, and the lettuce is so old and wilted inside that it is a string of dark green mush. It’s a huge turn-off! This often happens when sandwich shops pre-make their sandwiches, and then they grill them on a panini press, and include the lettuce while grilling. It’s the worst, and it should be outlawed.

Weirdly, I love a good grilled caesar salad. I know, I know, it sounds weird, especially coming from someone with such an aversion to warm lettuce. But there’s something about this that’s different and wonderful.

Grilled Caesar Salad is exactly what it sounds like; it is a salad you do on the BBQ. To be fair, it doesn’t spend much time on the BBQ–you mostly just kiss it with the grill–but it does stay there long enough to get some nice grill marks, and to give the lettuce a sweeter flavour and a softer texture. The inside of the romaine remains cold and crunchy, so it gives the whole thing a very different textural feel than regular caesar.

Just try it already!

grilled caesar salad

Grilled Caesar Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 heads romaine lettuce
  • 6 strips bacon, cut into 1″ pieces, fried crispy and drained on paper towels
  • 1/4 cup parmesan, grated or shaved (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup croutons
  • your favourite bottled caesar salad dressing, or make your own

Method:

  1. Without separating the leaves, wash the lettuce as well as you can, and then allow to drain. Cut the lettuces in half, length-wise, making sure to go mid-way through the core.
  2. Brush the cut side of the lettuce with olive oil. Heat the grill to 350-400 degrees.
  3. Place the lettuce, cut-side down, on the open grill for about 2-3 minutes. With tongs, flip over so that the other side is on the grill for a few minutes as well. You’re looking for some nice grill marks, and little wilting.
  4. When the lettuce is done, place it, cut-side up, on a large platter. Drizzle over the dressing, then top with croutons, bacon bits, and shaved cheese.
  5. To serve: allow people to cut their own chunk, or cut the lettuce into 3-4″ pieces yourself before serving.