Sunday, April 14, 2013

Grilled Caesar Salad

First off, yes you can grill a salad.

Those greens usually let things like meat, veggies, or other flavorful toppings take the lead, but in this production these mean greens are the star of the show. Give this one a try and wow your guests with a creative twist on a classic. And to my fellow MinneSNOWtans: if it's not going to feel like spring, we can at least make it taste like it right?

Romaine hearts (at least one per person)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Garlic salt
French bread
Parmesan cheese (fresh of course)
Lemons or lemon juice
Your favorite caesar dressing (mine is Cardini's)
Grilled chicken (optional)

Heat grill to medium-high heat. Brush romaine hearts with olive oil, generously. Season with salt and pepper, generously (I'm feeling very generous today). Place hearts on the grill and rotate until you achieve those beautiful grill marks on all sides (about 30-60 seconds on each side if your grill is hot). Remove from grill and set aside.

And now to my favorite part, homemade croutons. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat. Cube french bread, toss in olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic salt to your liking. Saute until you achieve a nice toast on all sides. Eat one to make sure they're done. Eat another because they're so darn good. Repeat as necessary.

You have two options here. You can slice each heart down the middle and serve that way, or chop the lettuce before serving to better coat with dressing and to make things easier on your guests. Once chopped, toss in a large bowl with a little (you don't need much as the grilled greens pack plenty of flavor) Cardini's caesar dressing and fresh lemon juice. Top with fresh grated parmesan and croutons. Enjoy!

A shout out to my foodie friend Sarah Hirst for introducing me to grilled caesar salad!