Thursday, June 6, 2013

Grilled B.L.T. Salad


There are only two words to describe this grilled salad/meal:  surprisingly perfect!  The caramelizing of the lettuce and balsamic vinegar lend to a deep, rich, sweet/savory, and full bodied flavor.  I was literally floored when I took my first bite.  There is something about the way that "grilled" flavor permeates the flesh of the Romaine and elevates it to the level of art!  I served this as our main course, and it kept everyone satisfied (yet wanting more of this deliciousness) throughout the rest of the evening. Thanks to my friend CJ over at CJ'sCulinaryJourney/LifeJustShowUp for the amazing technique and inspiration behind this new go-to salad/meal idea! Enjoy!!
Ingredients:
  • 2 Hearts of Romaine
  • 8 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled (For a healthier version, use turkey bacon)
  • 1 package of grape or cherry tomatoes, halved (not pictured)
  • 1/4 C reduced fat bleu cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 C chopped walnuts
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper

  1. Fill a clean kitchen sink 3/4 full with cold water and 1 T vinegar.
  2. Place Romaine hearts in sink for at least 15 minutes (this will remove any debris).
  3. Rinse the Romaine well and dry thoroughly.
  4. Carefully slice the Romaine hearts in halve lengthwise and discard any leaves that get disconnected (keep the bottom on).
  5. Drizzle each Romaine half with 1/2 T olive oil and 1/2 T balsamic vinegar (front and back).
  6. Sprinkle garlic powder and liberally salt and pepper the Romaine halves.
  7. Place on a medium low grill (about 300 degrees) cut side down.
  8. Grill for 3-4 minutes being sure to check frequently to ensure they do not char.
  9. Flip and cook an additional 3-4 minutes.
  10. Cut the bottom core off each Romaine heart.
  11. Top with bacon, tomatoes, walnuts and bleu cheese.
Goes perfect with a Pouilly-Fouisse by Jardot. Can be served warm or cold.  ENJOY!