Lettuces do nicely on the grill, softening slightly at their centers and charring beautifully at their tips. Their bitterness is a fine counterpart to the sweet spiciness of a lot of grilled foods. In this recipe, the dressing is Caesar-like. Mustard and mayonnaise serve as emulsifiers, while anchovies, garlic and vinegar provide a welcome kick. Make sure to paint the dressing into the crevices between the leaves, so that while the lettuce caramelizes slightly on the exterior, there is still warm creaminess within.
For the dressing:
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 6 anchovy fillets, rinsed and minced
- 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
For the salad:
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 heads romaine lettuce, tops and bottoms trimmed neatly, the heads cut lengthwise into quarters
- ½ cup grated Parmesan
- Nutritional Information
Note: Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available data.
Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)
480 calories; 42 grams fat; 7 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 26 grams monounsaturated fat; 4 grams polyunsaturated fat; 16 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams dietary fiber; 5 grams sugars; 12 grams protein; 16 milligrams cholesterol; 507 milligrams sodium
- Build a fire in your grill, leaving one side free of coals. When coals are covered with gray ash and the temperature is medium (you can hold your hand 5 inches above the coals for 5 to 7 seconds), you are ready to cook. (For a gas grill, turn all burners to high, lower cover and heat for 15 minutes, then turn burners to medium.)
- Meanwhile, make the dressing: Put the minced garlic into a bowl, and add the minced anchovies. Using a whisk, mix and mash these ingredients together until they form a paste. Add the mayonnaise and the mustard and whisk. Add the olive oil, whisking all the while, and then the vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Make the salad: Drizzle the olive oil over the quartered heads of lettuce. Lightly grill these directly over the hot coals for 15 to 20 seconds on each side, until they are lightly golden, then remove to the cool side of the grill. Using a pastry brush or a small spoon, paint the dressing over the lettuce, making sure to get dressing between the leaves. Sprinkle the lettuce with Parmesan and cover the grill for 1 or 2 minutes to allow the cheese to melt and the lettuce to soften further. Remove lettuce to a platter and serve.