Recipe: Grilled Caesar Salad
Please note – this is Grilled Salad, NOT Grilled Chicken Salad.
Learned to make this at a BBQ class I took. Got rave reviews all summer. Even got my mother, who hates salad, to like a salad.
Probably should have done a post on this during the summer, but some people can grill all year long. It’s not intrinsically healthy recipe is probably why I didn’t think to. But I think it’s not too bad either. I roughly estimate it at around 250 calories if you half the lettuce heads and 125 calories if you quarter them give or take some croutons.
The recipe involves making 3 things, 2 of which can be made in advance. None of them are too hard. However, please heed my warnings if you have never boiled sugar before.
- 2 Tablespoons of Parmesan per planned serving.
- Non stick bake sheet (I use the non-stick parchment)
Set the oven broiler on high.
Set out cheese either in thin layer either 1 TB amounts or 2 TBS amounts (I found 2 smaller chips worked better than 1 bigger chip)
Put in the middle rack for 4-8 minutes checking periodically until the cheese melts and forms chips that are slightly browned. Move up if you need to, but watch carefully.
I refrigerate mine and take them out a bit before they are needed. Here’s another recipe.
This recipe makes tons. Either significantly reduce the quantities or prep for storage. For everyone’s sake,
DON’T BE AN IDIOT LIKE ME AND TOUCH THIS WHILE HOT!!!
It burned off half my finger tip and took 8 weeks to heal (try doing 9-fingered pull ups/chin-ups!). The good news, I didn’t get it to my tongue. It takes a long time to cool down.
From Emeril’s Recipe for Lobster Cannolis with some additional comments from me:
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup champagne or white wine vinegar
- pinch of salt
throw all in a saucepan, gage roughly how high it comes up. Cook over medium heat 10-20 minutes. All the sugar should dissolve and it should reduce by approx 1/3rd in volume (this is a tip I got from somewhere else). Don’t be an idiot like me and cook until it goes like a brown syrup in the saucepan. Too late then. Start again.
Pour into a heatproof bowl to cool. Let me repeat.
DO NOT TOUCH WHILE HOT!!!!
After it cools, it *should* be like a yellowy syrup with little bits of lemon zest in it. If it’s still runny, throw it back in pan and reduce a little more.
Refrigerate til needed. Take out a bit before needed, should be back to syrupy. The guy are I took the class with kept his in a plastic squeeze bottle like this.
Grilled Caesar Salad
- Some heads of romaine lettuce (or iceberg I hear, but not tried it). You can either half the heads or quarter them depending on what else you are serving and how many people are coming. Quarter is pretty light, half is very satisfying starter.
- Some caesar salad dressing. Don’t stress, you won’t be using tons here, and some will drip/burn off. I used newman’s own.
- Some croutons, not a lot either.
I throw some the cut heads in a big bowl and drip some dressing on them. Then I hand coat the cut heads with the dressing. I reckon I use maybe 1/2 a cup if that on 2 whole heads. It should be very thinly spread all around the outside of the cut heads. I let them sit in a bowl for a few, and some drips off right then. By the time the whole thing is done, there is not a lot on there.
Get the grill going to a medium or medium-high heat. You don’t need to oil or spray the grill since the dressing should be doing that for you.
You now have two choices, grill one side or grill both sides. Grilling both is more consistent texture, grilling one leads to an interesting flavor/texture mix. Either way is good.
Grill one side or each side for about 2 min, should wilt and get some marks.
Put onto a plate in the middle. Put one (or two) Parmesan chips on the salad. Drizzle a little gastrique on one side of the plate like in a snotty restaurant. Throw a couple of croutons on the other side.
Put a little extra dressing on the table and serve. Explain to guests, most flavor is from mixing all components. Accept their adulation with grace and humility.