Grilling romaine lettuce is easy to do and tastes incredible with some fresh tomatoes, basil, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
We took the kiddos to their first official amusement park over spring break to Legoland. Basically we blew their little Lego-loving minds!
While we were down in Southern California we spent a few days with some good friends, friends who have been highly neglecting their grill (I’m talking to you, Kokoa!). We weren’t having any of this, and decided to show them some easy ways to smoke food even in simplest of grills, like this one. It also got us thinking about a new video series for beginners on how to smoke food when you don’t have a smoker. Keep an eye out for that!
We showed them how to set up their kettle grill for smoking and cooked up one of our favorite foolproof recipes — smoked tri-tip. In addition we came up with this great side to pair – this Grilled Romaine Salad with Tomatoes and Basil.
The idea behind this was to do a play on a traditional bruschetta with tomatoes and basil, but this would be a more low carb version. Not that we’re switching to low carb around here. Believe me there were plenty of carbs behind the scene of this meal. Instead, we were just hoping to have something fresh and salad-like to accompany our tri-tip.
This was perfect.
The topping can be made quickly by tossing together some fresh diced tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil, and salt and pepper.
For grilling it’s important to choose a sturdy green like romaine because it can handle the heat without falling apart.
Simply prep it by cutting your romaine heart in half lengthwise, then drizzling it with some olive oil, salt and pepper.
Grill both sides on high heat for just a couple minutes each side.
While the lettuce is grilling place a couple of lemons (cut in half) also on the grill to heat up. You’ll use these to squeeze over the finished salad. They also just friggin’ rock!
Remove the lettuce from the grill and top with your tomato mix, and finish with some fresh squeezed grilled lemon and a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar.
If you’re serving this as a meal then plan on one half romaine heart per person (pictured below left). Or if you’re feeding a crowd and there are other vegetable options then just cut each half into smaller portions and guests can take as much or as little as they’d like (pictured to the right).
That’s it. Seriously. It’s that easy. And incredibly delicious.
- 2 romaine hearts, halved lengthwise
- Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
- Salt and Pepper (about ½ teaspoon each per half)
- 2 lemons, halved
- 2 large beefsteak tomatoes (Roma tomatoes work well too, but use 4-5 if using Roma), diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
- 3 tablespoons basil, sliced thinly
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tablespoon aged balsamic
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- A pinch of fresh ground pepper (less than ¼ teaspoon)
- Rinse and dry the romaine (it is important for the lettuce to be fully dry before you grill otherwise it may steam).
- Brush both sides of romaine with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Set grill to direct heat.
- Grill the romaine hearts on each side until lightly browned on both sides (about 2 minutes each side).
- While the romaine is grilling place the lemon halves on the grill about 4 minutes (until you see grill marks).
- Remove from heat, and top with the tomato basil mixture and a squeeze of fresh grilled lemon and a drizzle of aged balsamic.
- Place together tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper, into a bowl and toss together.
Have you made a grilled salad before? What’s your favorite method?
For more tasty recipes, BBQ tips and tricks, check out the Recipe Index.
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