One too many sugar cookies. Finished off the last third of that pie. Snuck 3 pieces of peanut butter fudge when no one was looking. We know, us too. That’s why we made you a salad. Now come here and cry on mama’s shoulder.
Solution: fancy romaine salad with homemade Caesar dressing.
If you’ve never tried grilled romaine salad you’re missing out on a serious treat. I was the last person to expect it would be such a fantastically different flavor experience than fresh romaine, but it truly is. Something about the way the searing hot grill kisses the olive-oil brushed leaves just takes it to a whole new level of awesome. But you don’t need a grill for this recipe – we pop it under the broiler instead for a similarly stellar result.
Simply wash and dry the prettiest looking leaves in your bunch – the closer to the center the better – toss them lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper, and then pop them under the broiler for a few minutes, rotating once to ensure even cooking. Then, top with this super simple rosemary Caesar dressing and some fresh shaved Parmesan.
This salad is more special in taste and texture than a traditional romaine salad, making it perfect for entertaining. And the dressing adds a creamy, spicy punch. This dish could easily be considered an entree if you bulked it up with some grilled chicken, roasted veggies or toasted nuts. Plus, if you make it for all your friends they’ll be super impressed. Three points for the classy hostess.
- 1 small head romaine lettuce
- 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh shaved Parmesan cheese
DRESSING (yields enough for ~ 6 salads)
- 1 Tbsp spicy mustard
- 1 Tbsp white vinegar
- 2 Tbsp light mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 6 cloves garlic, pressed or grated
- Healthy pinch each salt and pepper
- 1-4 – 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
- Position oven rack to the highest level and heat oven to low broil.
- Peel away the outer most leaves from the romaine head and save for other use. Pick out about 8-10 leaves, wash, dry and toss in olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and set aside.
- Prepare dressing by adding mustard, vinegar, mayo, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper to a small bowl and whisking to combine. Slowly stream in 1/4 – 1/3 cup olive oil (I usually go for less) while continuing to whisk to emulsify the dressing. Whisk vigorously until well combined.
- Add fresh rosemary, whisk once more and sample to taste. Adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt, pepper or rosemary as desired.
- Place romaine under broiler and watch closely while it cooks for 1-2 minutes. Flip when the leaves start to brown a bit, then cook for 1-2 minutes more. It’s a fairly quick process – you’re essentially looking for them to wilt a bit and soften.
- Remove from oven, divide the romaine between two plates and top with 2 Tbsp dressing and several shavings of Parmesan cheese.