Grilled Citrus Caesar Salad

The hero of a Caesar salad, romaine lettuce is a crisp, mild tasting lettuce with sturdy leaves and a thick rib down the center. Perfect for grilling! Many variations of Caesar salad are still popular on restaurant menus today. Not many of us in the Northeast are using our outdoor grills this winter, so this is a perfect recipe for a stove-top grill pan.

I just completed my first freelance food project with a California-based farm called Tanimura and Antle. They’re a sustainable farm with the most beautiful artisan romaine lettuce. I grilled the romaine hearts on the stove-top and made a salad with a tangy citrus Caesar dressing, topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Anchovy paste adds that “umami” flavor to the dressing, but Worcestershire sauce and/or mustard can be substituted. I added some grilled chicken to my salad and it made the most enjoyable lunch.

Grilled Romain

  • 2 romaine lettuce hearts, stems in tact (if the hearts are large slice in half length-wise)
  • 2 teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat the grill to medium high or use a grill pan on the stove-top. Drizzle the olive oil over the romaine hearts and use your hands to coat the lettuce completely. Season with salt and pepper. Place the romaine hearts on the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until lightly charred. If you’re using a grill pan, cover the lettuce with a plate or another pan to press on the lettuce to create grill marks. Place cooked romaine hearts on a plate and drizzle with the citrus dressing, top with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Serves 4.

Citrus Caesar Dressing

  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons anchovy paste (don’t skip this, it adds great umami flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Place all the ingredients in a pint size jar with a lid. Secure the lid, then shake to blend well. Store the dressing in the refrigerator, covered, for up to a week.


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