Last week, Hubby and I celebrated our six month wedding anniversary by checking out Le Pigeon, Chef Gabriel Rucker's fabulous Portland restaurant. The dinner was phenomenal, but the stand out was the item listed simply as Romaine. It was a grilled head of lettuce lightly dressed with a lemony, caesar dressing. So simple, but each bite was a was smoky, creamy, tangy, and crunchy.
The next morning I woke up with one goal; I had to replicate that recipe! I didn't come close - I don't even pretend to have the culinary genius of a REAL chef, but I did come up with this great salad. It will definitely become a regular BBQ side dish. I added chopped apple and radishes for some sweetness and spice to offset the smokiness.
If you can, throw the lemon on the grill as it heats up. It will make it a little smokey, and if nothing else, it will be easier to juice.
Grilled Romaine with Lemony Dressing
For the Salad
2 Heads of Romaine
1 sweet, crunchy apple like a braeburn or fuji
1 bunch radishes
For the Dressing
juice from 1/2 a lemon (meyer preferably - it is sweeter)
1 Tablespoon anchovy paste ( or an anchovy fillet)
1-2 crushed garlic cloves
1 teaspoon black pepper
shake of red chile flakes
2 -3 Tablespoon olive oil plus a little bit for brushing on the lettuce
1/4 cup low-fat mayo
(you may need 1 teaspoon of sugar if you are using a regular lemon instead of meyers)
First, make the dressing. In a bowl whisk the lemon juice, garlic, pepper, and chile flakes. Whisk in the olive oil then stir in the mayo until smooth and creamy. Taste. Add salt to taste. Cover the bowl and put in the refrigerator until the lettuce is done.
Chop the apples and radishes into small bites.
Cut the heads of lettuce in half and brush with a little oil. Put on a hot grill cut side down. Check after about 2-4 minutes until it is lightly brown and a wee bit crunchy on the edges of the outer leaves.
Drizzle the grilled lettuce heads with the dressing and sprinkle with some chopped apple and radish. Serve immediately.
I promise it tastes good! :)