There’s something so satisfying about dinner hot off the grill. Summer is high grilling season, but even in a region with frigid winters, we keep the grill fueled up and ready to go for those days when it’s not blowing snow sideways.
For a long time, I went along with the grilling status quo: steak, burgers, hot dogs, chicken, the occasional rack of ribs, shish kebab with limited vegetables. Then we branched out a little and started grilling our peppers; now that was life-changing! The grilling process brought out the complex flavors of the peppers, and we enjoyed them so much we planted more peppers!
One spring while I was planting lettuce in my raised beds, I decided I was growing Romaine lettuce along with my favorite leaf lettuce. I figured it would give me some variety when it came time to make salads or garnish my sandwiches.
That was the year that everything grew profusely. I think it was part weather, part luck. But even though I snipped a few leaves of Romaine throughout the growing season, by the time the heads were fully ready, they were huge—over a foot tall!
And they were profuse. I had a lot of Romaine on my hands—more than enough to make a century’s worth of Caesar salads. OK, I exaggerate—but not by much. I really had more Romaine than I could handle.
Then I was watching a cooking show (as one does), and I saw the TV chef brush a halved head of Romaine with seasoned olive oil—and put it on the grill! As he plated this unusual dish, I glanced out toward the deck to see if we had an extra tank of propane.
So, I did what any adventurous home gardener and avid cook would do: I tried it myself. As far as I’m concerned, Caesar salad can take a back seat. Grilled Romaine is staying on my menu.Print
Grilled Garden Romaine
Grilling is such a great way to cook so many foods. If you’ve gotten used to making the same-old side salad to go with your grilled burgers, chicken, or steak, try grilling some Romaine hearts as a deliciously unexpected side dish.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4 1x
- Category: Sides & Sauces
- 2 Romaine hearts, cleaned, blotted dry, and cut in half lengthwise
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
- 4 teaspoons minced chives
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 4 strips bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled
- Trim the stem of the lettuce to remove any brown parts.
- Brush the cut side of the Romaine halves with olive and grill over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, leaving the grill lid up.
- Brush the backs of the Romaine halves with olive oil, turn over, and grill for another 3 to 4 minutes.
- Remove from grill when done and put on a serving platter, cut side up.
- While Romaine is grilling, whisk buttermilk, yogurt, chives, lemon juice, and salt and pepper in a small bowl until ingredients are fully blended.
- Drizzle sauce over the cut sides of the Romaine.
- Sprinkle with cheese and bacon.
For a variation, skip the buttermilk and yogurt, and add in 1/4 cup of chopped kalamata olives.
Have you made this recipe? It makes a great side dish that’s out of the ordinary! Please tell us how you used it.