Thursday, July 18, 2013

Summer Staples : Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad with Homemade Creamy Caesar Dressing, Bacon Lardons, Grilled Croutons, Shaved Shallots, Slow Roasted Tomatoes, & Fresh Parmesan

Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad with Homemade Creamy Caesar Dressing, Bacon Lardons,
Grilled Croutons, Shaved Shallots, Slow Roasted Tomatoes, & Fresh Parmesan
A salad is the perfect compliment to any summer meal. Especially when it's grilled. Trust me, I was skeptical too when I heard about grilled romaine lettuce. Would it become extremely soggy? Would it just burst into flames? Would I hate it? Well, none of those things happened, especially now that we consider ourselves grill masters. The grilled caesar salad was awesome and will be a go-to for any cookout meal! The romaine, if cooked right, becomes charred around the edges, but still crisp + fresh on the inside. To really take your Caesar salad over the top, you gotta make your own. Our version is top notch and packs a big punch. But it's creaminess really takes over and pairs perfectly with smoky bacon, sweet tomatoes, shaved shallots, and grilled croutons. I pretty much live by the motto of grill everything + anything now. We absolutely loved the crouton shards... just get some slices of good, crusty bread, brush them with some olive oil, and charr them on the grill until really toasted. All you have to go is cut them into cubes of long strips. We preferred the strips because you can dip them into the dressing and top them with all the goodies and almost make a caesar salad bruschetta. Best. Idea. Ever. I lurve all the flavors and how perfectly they compliment each other. So go on y'all... grill everything that you can get your hands on!! Enjoy :)

Grilled bread about to be turned into Grilled Croutons... 
Romaine Lettuce, Hot Off the Grill
For the Creamy Caesar Dressing:
3 Large Cloves of Garlic, Finely Minced
1T Anchovy Paste
2T Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice + 1t Lemon Zest
2t Dijon Mustard
1t Worcestershire Sauce
1C Homemade Aioli or Mayo
2/3C Freshly Grated Parmesan
Salt & Pepper, To Taste (as well as some sugar for balance)

For the Grilled Romaine:
3-4 Romaine Hearts, Split Lengthwise
3T Olive Oil
1T Red Wine Vinegar
1T Fresh Chopped Herbs (I used basil, parsley, thyme, & rosemary)
Salt & Pepper, To Taste

For the Grilled Caesar Salad:
Prepared Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing, Refrigerated
Grilled Romaine Heart Halves
Crispy Bacon Lardons
Slow Roasted Tomatoes or Sun Dried Tomatoes, Roughly Chopped
1 Large Shallot, Thinly Shaved
Slices of Thick Country Bread, Drizzled with Oil & Grilled until Crispy
Shaved Parmesan Cheese

1. For the Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the first five ingredients. Next, add in the mayo and grated Parmesan. Season the dressing with salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.
2. For the Grilled Romaine: Prep the romaine hearts—pull off any old leaves. Chop off the top 1 or 2 inches of the lettuce head, and shave off the browned part of the root end, leaving the root end intact so that the lettuce head stays together. Prepare your grill for high, direct heat. Paint the lettuce hearts all over with the vinaigrette. Prepare the vinaigrette. Put the oil, vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk with a fork to combine. Grill the romaine hearts until lightly browned on all sides, turning every minute or two until done.
3. For the Grilled Caesar Salad: Place the hearts onto a serving platter. Drizzle the top of the romaine with some of the chilled Caesar dressing. Scatter across the crispy bacon lardons, tomatoes of your choice, shaved shallots, Parmesan cheese, & cubes of grilled country bread. Season with a little salt and pepper.
4. Serve immediately!


  1. this looks truly delish! What a nice change from the normal salad. We are grilling meat on a stick tonight, I will whip this up for a side. Thank you for the recepie. Miss B

    1. It's really the perfect side for grillin' out!!