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.
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