Grilled romaine salad

I know it's weird, but grill some romaine lettuce and eat it.

Sometimes people will grill things only, apparently, for the sake of grilling.  Often, it just doesn’t make sense.  I thought that about grilled romaine lettuce.  Then I ate this.  Serves 3-4.



  • 3-4 hearts of romaine
  • 1 l red onion
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive or vegetable oil
  • kosher salt
  • pepper
  • halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 fuerte avocado, diced (or haas)
  • grated Parmesan cheese


  • ¼ c balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp dried cilantro (or 1 tbsp fresh; parsley or sage)
  • ~¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ~½ tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • ½ to 1 c extra virgin olive oil


Prepare the dressing by measuring everything but the oil into a large mixing bowl. While whisking with a large balloon whisk, slowly drizzle in the oil.  Taste it a few times along the way until you get the vinegar/oil ratio where you want it.  Add salt if necessary. If the dressing won’t stay emulsified, add a little bit more mustard. The dressing should taste very strong by itself. When tossed with the salad greens the flavor will balance out.  N.B., it doesn’t take much of a flavorful, fresh vinaigrette like this to dress a salad. Set the dressing aside.

Slice the onion into ¼ inch disks as if you were making thin onion rings.  Toss them in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cut the hearts of romaine in half lengthwise.  Drizzle, brush, or spray them with a little bit of oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Grill the onions on a low-med heat area of the grill for 10-15 minutes or until soft and sweet with a few browned spots. As they are apt to fall through, you may need to do this in a grill basket or small pan.

On a medium-hot grill, lay the romaine halves flat-side down. Close the lid for 1 minute. Open the grill and flip the lettuce and close for 1 more minute. The lettuce should have some grill marks on it and be slightly wilted. Remove from grill.

Serve the grilled romaine heart halves intact. Top the lettuce with tomatoes, avocado, and whatever else you like.  Drizzle with the prepared vinaigrette.  Sprinkle with grated cheese.