Monday, August 17, 2009

Grilled Romaine with Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing

I'm not usually a big salad eater. When this dish was offered as a special at one of our favorite restaurants, I was sold. It's very simple to make, and takes only a few minutes to grill. If you're used to the crunch of fresh romaine, you'll be in for a surprise with this. The heat from the grill does make the leaves wilt, but the freshness still holds up and is very tasty. I decided to add some crumpled feta cheese to the salad for extra flavor. You could also add toasted pine nuts, sesame seeds, pieces of chicken, or any other salad topping that you prefer. I also found a recipe for strawberry vinaigrette, which was similar to the one that was served at the restaurant. The dressing recipe is for four servings, so you will have plenty of dressing left over. Again, feel free to use your dressing of choice.

Grilled Romaine with Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing
Split one heart of romaine lettuce, lengthwise. Heat your grill to high-heat, making sure to spray or oil the grates. Place the romaine halves on direct heat. Cook for about 3 minutes, until the leaves starts to wilt and grill marks are visible. Turn the lettuce and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, drizzle with dressing, top with crumpled feta cheese. Serves two.

Strawberry Vinaigrette
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh strawberries, halved
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4± teaspoon white sugar (adjust sweetness to your liking)

In a blender or food processor, mix strawberries, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar. Slowly add the oil. Blend until smooth.

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