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Smokey Grilled Caesar Salad

Updated: Jan 11, 2021

I know, I know... grilled romaine might sound like a hard sell if you've never tried it. This isn't wimpy warm lettuce, though. Grilling your greens brings out all sorts of savory flavors you never knew were there. You can grill your greens without the under-the-broiler step in this recipe and it would be delicious, but if you've ever opened a new box of Trader Joe's cheese straws only to find it- only moments (a and maybe a glass of wine) later- inexplicably, heartbreaking empty, you'll want to give it a shot. Mimicking the umami carb-bomb of a New Orleans-style Sicilian stuffed artichoke, the split romaine is slathered with garlic, lemon, and Worcestershire then topped with a Gucci-lux coat of Parmesan and bread crumbs. The cheesy-crisp crust and smokey char in the lettuce eats meaty and satisfying and wow-factor enough to share the spotlight with grilled shrimp Remoulade or a sizzling skirt steak. And the cold leftovers... oh man...

Happy 4th of July, and happy eating, y'all :)

3-pack of romaine lettuce

2 cups finely grated Parmesan

1 cup plain bread crumbs

2 lemons

2 t garlic powder

4 T Worcestershire

1/2 t brown sugar

salt and pepper

1/2 cup olive oil or grapeseed oil, plus more for cooking

Salt and pepper

1. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, the juice and zest of one lemon, sugar, a pinch of salt, and Worcestershire. Mix the parm and bread crumbs in a medium bowl, set aside.

2. Split each had of romaine in half from top to bottom, leaving the root attached. Season the cut side with salt and pepper, then brush or shmear the oil mix all over.

3. Preheat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add a thin layer of oil then place the lettuce cutside down. Cook for 2-3 minutes on both sides. Work in batches, wiping out the pan and adding more oil as necessary.

3. Cut the lemon in half, grill until charred, 2-3 minutes. Let cool for a minute, then squeeze over lettuces.

4. Generously sprinkle the cheese mix over the cut sides of the lettuce. (Optional: stick these bad boys under a broiler to melt the cheese!). Top with any remaining dressing. Serve hot or cold.

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