Grilled Caesar Salad! Yes that’s right, we’re grilling lettuce people! Grilling brings out a whole new dimension of flavor in romaine. Sophisticated but easy, this salad is delicious and a whole lot of fun.
I first had grilled romaine at a restaurant in North Carolina this April. I was visiting the Biltmore House and Gardens, which makes the Newport mansions, look like little cabins.
They were also exhibiting the costumes of Downton Abbey, which was really cool to see (I’m a fan of the show). I could just imagine the Vanderbilts lounging in period clothing and enjoying the mountain breezes, as servants hustled to fulfill their every wish.
Anyway a local restaurant served a grilled Caesar salad with pickled red onions, and I knew right then that I wanted to try my own version at home. I’m so glad I did, because this is so freakin good!
The pickled red onions are completely optional, but if you’re interested you can find my recipe here: Paleo Friendly Pickled Red Onions
To make this recipe even easier, pick up a bag of prewashed lettuce. If you do wash your lettice, make sure it is completely dry before grilling or it will just wilt on the grill.
To insure a light coating of olive oil on the romaine, I like to use my Misto Sprayer, it is really an awesome kitchen gadget, I use mine all the time.
You are going to want your grill to be really hot, and the romaine does not need to be on there for long. Mine took about 30 seconds on each side.
For the Caesar dressing, this recipe calls for egg yolks. If raw eggs are a concern, you can use pasteurized eggs, or you can replace the egg yolks with one additional tablespoon of olive oil, or mayonnaise. The extra dressing will keep tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It is also great on sandwiches and wraps.
The parmesan is optional, if you are dairy-free just leave it out.
You should serve this salad immediately so that it does not wilt.
- 2 hearts of romaine
- 1 Tbs olive oil (for brushing)
- ¼ cup shaved parmesan cheese (optional)
- Caesar Dressing:
- Juice of one lemon (about ¼ cup)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 Tbs white wine vinegar
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 Tbs coconut aminos
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 4 anchovy filets, packed in olive oil
- ¼ tsp fine grain sea salt
- 2 raw egg yolks
- Cut romaine hearts in half, lengthwise. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels.
- Preheat grill to high.
- Prepare Caesar Salad Dressing.
- Add to a blender: lemon juice, garlic, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, coconut aminos, olive oil, anchovy filets, salt, and egg yolks. Blend and scrape down sides as necessary. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate.
- Shave about ¼ cup of parmesan with a vegetable peeler, and reserve.
- Lightly brush fronts and backs of romaine halves with olive oil. You could also spray them with a Misto sprayer.
- Lay romaine on the preheated grill and cook until grill marks form and you can begin to smell the romaine, but not so long that they wilt. It took mine less than a minute. Flip romaine and grill the other side, for an equivalent time. Every grill is different, so you really need to watch these.
- Remove to a serving platter, cut side up. Garnish with shaved parmesan, drizzle with Caesar dressing, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- You can serve the heads whole or chopped and tossed in a salad bowl. If serving whole, remove the base/root end of the lettuce heads.
- Serve immediately.
- I like grilled Caesar served with my Paleo Friendly Pickled Red Onions.