Seared or grilled romaine gives big flavor to the tender, soft lettuce leaves, paired here with an easy cheater’s Caesar salad dressing.
I feel like I need to make a confession. M’s 5th birthday has come and gone. I didn’t mention a thing about it - or her - earlier this week. Partly, yes, I prepped that post ahead because I knew we’d have a lot going on last weekend and early this week celebrating.
And partly, well, I just needed it to be complete before I shared about it again.
I wanted to savor every last moment of her being just a little girl before admitting (to myself as much as you, my lovely friends) that she’s growing up.
It’s the first milestone that I’ve wanted to shy away from, slow down time for, hit pause on.
She’s 5 and that just seems like a whole new era of childhood on the horizon. Yup, I’m totally crying as I type this. Not a sweet sniffle here or there, either, it's the big fat ugly kind of tears.
Sigh. But we sure did have fun celebrating! Here she was enjoying a chocolate cupcake at her pottery painting party with friends and we got to celebrate lots more at home, at school and at swim class.
And while I still need time to adjust to life with a 5-year-old, nothing else is slowing down, that’s for sure 😉 So onto the food!
Have you ever had seared or grilled romaine?
It’s ah-may-zing. A whole new vegetable opens up to you before your very eyes when those big stalks of romaine lettuce are charred up perfectly.
I just... you just gotta… I mean, not to be demanding, but it’s kind-of a must.
And me, the one who more often than not just makes this super simple spinach salad and calls it a day, well, you know I'm keeping this easy. This salad is ready to go in 15 minutes, including the homemade dressing.
And if you are without a grill, you can totally do this in a pan. (I do it that way more often than not - so easy!) It absolutely gets the same great seared flavor on the leaves and wilts beautifully.
To finish off these gorgeous cooked romaine leaves, I make a ridiculously simple (read: cheater’s version) of Caesar salad dressing.
Mine has no anchovies and no egg yolks, but it doesn't skimp on flavor.
This dressing is rich with the background of olive oil and Parmesan cheese, plus the depth of flavor that comes from adding Worcestershire sauce, but it's also got bright lemony citrus flavor to balance it.
Seriously good eats.
Give this seared or grilled romaine salad a go on Memorial Day weekend, for your next burger night or just on the stove indoors as a quick summer side dish.
It's lettuce taken to the next level.
Seared romaine with cheater Ceasar’s dressing
Seared romaine leaves have such great flavor and are paired here with a simple Caesar salad dressing.
For the romaine salad:
- 2 large heads of romaine lettuce
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
For the Caesar dressing:
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- zest and juice of ½ lemon
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 2-3 dashes Worchestershire sauce
For serving (optional):
- Parmesan shavings or extra grated Parmesan
- Cut romaine stalks in half lengthwise, keeping the ends intact so each half stays together.
- Brush both sides of the romaine with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Place the brushed romaine stalks cut-side down and sear for 3-4 minutes, until well-browned. Then flip and cook on the other side for another 2-3 minutes until browned and the romaine is slightly wilted. (You may need to work in batches, depending on how much you make, if it won’t all fit in your pan.)
- Meanwhile, make the Caesar dressing: Combine all ingredients in a small jar and shake vigorously. You can also whisk everything together in a bowl.
- Serve seared romaine with the dressing and Parmesan shavings and croutons, if desired.
You can also grill the romaine on a grill pan or outside. Preheat the grill to 400 and grease the grates with an oil-soaked towel. Grill about 3 minutes per side, until well-browned.
The dressing is chunky due to the Parmesan cheese and minced garlic. You can spoon it over the grilled romaine if it’s not pouring out well.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 312Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 1011mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 4gSugar: 10gProtein: 11g
Dawn @ Girl Heart Food
I've never tried grilled lettuce before, but looks delicious. Love your dressing. Pinned 🙂 What is it about caesar salad this is so appealing? Just love that stuff. Your little girl is so adorable! So cute eating her cupcake. Treasure every moment, right? Have a lovely weekend, Kathryn! xo
You've got to Dawn - you will LOVE it! And yes, I'm sure trying to slow down and treasure the moments 🙂 Happy weekend!
Liz - Meal Makeover Mom
Oh WOW. I have never seared romaine lettuce but I've had grilled romaine before. I am SO going to try this. Looks refreshing and delicious. I think this may just become my go-to summer salad!! I mean it 🙂
Thanks Liz! It's so easy and the flavor is crazy good! Perfect summertime side 🙂
Your little girl is so pretty!
Aww, thanks Adina! She's a keeper 😉
I love this! My daughter just turned 5 in January and your 'SO right...it's like a whole new chapter in their sweet little lives! Time is against us mommas who want our kids to stay babies forever! <3 I'm SO excited to try this salad and dressing...you left out the two ingredients in Caesar salad dressing that prevent me from ever making it at home! YAY! 🙂
Aw, you're right there with me! It's amazing to watch them grow and become their own people, isn't it? And I'm so happy to help bring back Caesar salad dressing to your life 🙂
Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet
Seared and grilled romaine is seriously the best!! Pinning!
Isn't it?! Thanks Lauren! 🙂
I love the title of your post... lol I love grilled romaine!!
Haha, thanks Ludmilla! 🙂
Kate @ Framed Cooks
I absolutely LOVED grilling romaine lettuce (once you try it, it's hard to go back!) and now I have to try it with your super smart dressing! Hurray for summer grilled salad season!
Absolutely - hard to go back once you know how great it is! So happy for grilling season 🙂
Ohhh how creative!! Love the dressing 😀
Thanks Anne! It's a summer must!
This likes something you could try on the BBQ too. Thanks, I'd never thought of serving lettuce like this 🙂 Becky at zeroguardiet.com
Yes, it's great for the grill! And brings SO much flavor to a salad! Hope you try it!
Lisa @ Chocolate Meets Strawberry
Oh Kathryn, so many mixed emotions! Very exciting that M is now five, but I can completely understand why it would upset you too. An exciting new era surely is on the horizon, full of new milestones 😀 You sound like a proud mumma, and for good reason 🙂 As for this salad, I had never thought of grilling lettuce, but since romaine has a thick texture I can see why this would work and be so delicious! x
Aw, thanks Lisa! And you've absolutely gotta try grilling or pan-searing your romaine next time - a whole new world! XXOO
I love lettuce (make a huge lettuce salad almost every day) but never thought of grilling them.
I'd so want to try this recipe
Thanks Winnie! You've gotta give it a go - it's addictive!!
Julie @ Running in a Skirt
Oh wow! I want to add this to my weekend menu. Looks so good.
Thanks Julie! It's perfect for summer and grilling season!
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
Well I've heard of grilled, but seared sounds just fabulous as well!
Thanks Rebecca! It is just as fabulous, and a tad bit easier 🙂
Quick question....could I grill the lettuce ahead of time?
Hi Maria, I always serve this salad with the lettuce warm or at room temperature. So you could maybe make it a little bit ahead and just let it sit out. But I'm not sure about doing it way in advance and refrigerating the grilled lettuce - that could affect the taste and texture. Hope that helps!