Grilling lettuce can be tricky. If the leaves are grilled on their own, they will wilt and burn in seconds, but if you leave a head of lettuce intact, the outside will char slightly while the inner leaves remain juicy and take on the flavor of smoke. Grilled romaine is dramatically different from its raw counterpart, with a meaty quality that makes a welcome change of pace. For a more assertive vegetable and a more dynamic color contrast, substitute a large head of radicchio for one of the romaine heads.
Grilled Romaine Salad with Anchovy-Mustard Vinaigrette
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 6 anchovy fillets, minced
- 1 Tbs. brown mustard
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) plus 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 heads romaine lettuce, loose leaves removed and each head cut lengthwise into quarters
- 1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 tsp. flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
1. Prepare a grill for indirect grilling over medium heat (300° to 350°F/150° to 180°C).
2. In a salad bowl, using the back of a fork, mash together the garlic and anchovy fillets into a paste. Whisk in the mustard and egg yolk and then whisk in 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) of the olive oil a little at a time until a thick sauce forms. Stir in the lemon juice and season to taste with fine sea salt and pepper. Set aside.
3. Brush the grill grate and coat with oil. Coat the romaine quarters with the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil. Put them on the grate directly over the fire and grill, turning once, just until grill marked, about 20 seconds per side. Using tongs, transfer the lettuce away from the fire. Paint with half of the vinaigrette, getting the dressing down in between the leaves; sprinkle with half of the cheese. Cover the grill and cook until the cheese just starts to melt and the ends of the lettuce wedges wilt, about 2 minutes. Transfer the romaine to a platter. Dress with the remaining vinaigrette and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Season lightly with flaky salt and serve. Serves 4.
For this recipe and other secrets on how to make fabulous food
on the grill, check out our essential guide to cooking with fire,
Grill School, by Andrew Schloss and David Joachim.