Thursday, July 21, 2016

Grilled Romaine Salad with Pecan Vinaigrette

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 I so love hosting dinner parties.  A bit of a lost art, we all should do this more often...

But I digress...

I love the dance and math of getting all the courses correct temperature all at once, served hot dishes hot and cold dishes cold.  This is a salad that tastes fantastic, adds a course that allows you to get all the main dishes and their sides ready to serve while your guests chow down on the salad.

An extra part of my dance of prep is to ask a guests that arrives early to grill the lettuce.  It is so simple that anyone can do this (although my buddy, Paul, shown in the photo is an accomplished griller in his own right).  Getting others to help adds to the fun of the party... And frees you up to dance elsewhere.

Now as to the lettuce itself, the grilling does a couple of things...

First, a fantastic look.  The extra char on the edges certainly gets your meal off to a fantastic start!  People know they are in for something fun with this presentation.

The actual heating of the lettuce changes the taste.  Adds a caramelized sweet taste.

Win win!

And the vinaigrette... A perfect blending of honey mustard tart, honey sweet and the Earthy nutty Pecan flavors.  Garnish with a few crushed Pecans for an extra crunch texture and you have a wonderful stand alone salad for a quick lunch or a special start to a fun evening on the grill...


  OK... Here's what I did...

Grilled Romaine Lettuce 
with Pecan Vinaigrette

  • For the Grilled Lettuce...
    2 Heads of Romaine Lettuce, cut lenrthwise into quarters
  • Drizzle of Olive oil for each
  • pinch of salt and pepper for each
  • For the Pecan Honey Mustard Vinaigrette...
    1/2 Cup Pecans (divided, reserve 14/ cup for garnish)
  • 1/4 Cup Cider Vinegar
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Crushed and Minced
  • 2 TBS Whole Grain  Mustard
  • 2 TBS Honey
  • 1 TBS Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 Cup Olive Oil
Cooking Directions
  1. For the Vinaigrette...
    Add all of the listed ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth.  Chill until ready to use.
    Pre-heat oven to Broil setting.  OR, prepare a gas grill, medium heat or a charcoal grill with direct heat.  Best to use coals that have been hot for about an hour.  This needs to be watched as there will be flair ups..
  3. Cut the Romaine Lettuce lengthwise into quarters, leaving the hard base intact in each (so they do not fall apart when you flip),
  4. Drizzle a bit of olive oil into the open cut side of the lettuce.
  5. Grill non-cut side down for 3 minutes until just starting to wilt and get char marks.
    Flip and Grill cut side down for an additional 3 minutes.  Watch carefully as the dripping oil will flair up.
    In a standard oven, set the lettuce cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet.  Set the sheet on the lower rack, broil for 3 minutes until the lettuce just starts to char.  Flip and broil for only about 2 minutes.
  6. Top with vinaigrette and a small handful of chopped Pecans...
    Serve warm with the chilled dressing and ENJOY!


So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Grilling Time Secret Extras" or "52 Ways to Cook BBQ and Grilling Recipes"!!!

Well over 52 recipes actually as I just can't stop... Over 100 in one grilling season (I love to grill!). But not just leat... Drinks, Condiments (LOTS of different BBQ sauces), Drinks, Desserts... even specialty items like GRILLED Pizza, and fun shaped Watermelons.  Easy and these ideas will make you the MASTER of your Backyard Domain!


So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Specialty Salad Recipes"!!!

Sometimes they are the main course, sometimes a lunch and sometimes they are the side dish... And if you count Jell-o salad you can even make a dessert of a salad.  Here are a few of my favorite salads that get far more Ooohs and Aaahs than that simple chopped head of lettuce.

Links include Potato Salads, Cole Slaws, and Plenty of greens and fixins' Salads... And more than a few matching FRESH MADE Jam Jar make it yourself Salad Dressings!


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