"The people who give you their food give you their heart" - Cesar Chavez

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Grilled Romain with Toasted Hazelnuts

After my recent excitement over caesar salad, my boyfriend shared with me that at a restaurant he used to work at they would grill the romaine lettuce for their caesar salads. So on a Sunday night I decided to make a fancy caesar salad, kicking it up a notch if you will. This salad, while an improvisation on the ingredient front, tasted delicious and is definitely a good accompaniment for any meat dish or hearty soup. We had ours with a green lentil soup and a chewy fresh loaf of garlic bread. This salad is fancy tasting, elegant looking and very easy to make. The toasted hazelnuts have a smoky flavor, the blue cheese has a pungent creamy flavor, and the marinated artichoke has a delicious salty flavor. All of these are tied together with the grilled romaine and creamy dressing for a fantastic salad. I use one of those indoor grills that spans over two stove top burners. For the most part, it works great, except it smokes up the entire apartment and requires opening up most the windows and the front door! All for a little grilled romaine.

Whole romaine lettuce leaves
Marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
Blue cheese, crumbled
Caesar dressing
Olive oil
Ground pepper
Dried chili flakes

1. Heat up a grill. Place the romaine lettuce leaves in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, ground pepper and dried chili flakes. Toss to get the leaves evenly seasoned.
2. Broil the hazelnuts in the oven for about 4 minutes. Set aside
3. Spray the grill with a little bit of cooking spray. Place the leaves on the grill and grill for about 30 seconds per a side. You want to see grill marks on the romaine but you don't want the leaves to wilt and loose their crispness.
4. Set the grilled romaine aside in a bowl. Top with the chopped artichoke hearts, toasted hazelnuts, crumbled blue cheese and drizzle the caesar dressing over the whole lot. Gently toss to incorporate.

1 comment:

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