Grilled Caesar Salad

From Cook's Country | June/July 2013
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Why this recipe works:

Adding smoky char to a Caesar salad sounded like a good idea, as long as we could avoid limp lettuce. Using just the firm, compact romaine hearts is a step in the right direction, and grilling them over a hot fire lets them pick up char faster before wilting. We make a simple dressing with… read more

Adding smoky char to a Caesar salad sounded like a good idea, as long as we could avoid limp lettuce. Using just the firm, compact romaine hearts is a step in the right direction, and grilling them over a hot fire lets them pick up char faster before wilting. We make a simple dressing with mayonnaise instead of raw eggs and brush some of it on the cut side of the lettuce before cooking to aid browning. Baguette slices brushed with oil crisp up in a few minutes, and we finish the whole thing with more dressing and plenty of Parmesan cheese.

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Serves 6

Ingredients

  • DRESSING
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 anchovy fillets, rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • SALAD
  • 1 (12-inch) baguette, cut on bias into 5-inch-long, 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 3 romaine lettuce hearts (18 ounces), halved lengthwise through cores
  • 1/2 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/4 cup)

Instructions

  1. 1. FOR THE DRESSING: Combine lemon juice and garlic in bowl and let stand for 10 minutes. Process mayonnaise, Parmesan, lemon-garlic mixture, vinegar, Worcestershire, mustard, anchovies, salt, and pepper in blender for about 30 seconds. With blender running, slowly add oil. Reserve 6 tablespoons dressing for brushing romaine.

    2A. FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over half of grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.

    2B. FOR A GAS GRILL: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave all burners on high.

    3. FOR THE SALAD: Clean and oil cooking grate. Brush bread with oil and grill (over coals if using charcoal), uncovered, until browned, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to platter and rub with garlic clove. Brush cut sides of romaine with reserved dressing; place half of romaine, cut side down, on grill (over coals if using charcoal). Grill, uncovered, until lightly charred, 1 to 2 minutes. Move to platter with bread. Repeat. Drizzle romaine with remaining dressing. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve.

Salad Prep for Grilled Caesar

We get twice the flavor by using the dressing before and after grilling.

1. Brush our easy homemade Caesar dressing onto the halved romaine hearts before grilling.

2. Grill the dressed romaine halves on just one side to keep the lettuce from wilting.

3. Once the charred lettuce comes off the grill, finish it with more Caesar dressing.

Detail sfs grilledcaesarsalad 7
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