Grilled lettuce, once an unheard-of culinary oddity, came well into vogue a few years ago. Thus, I trust that you know all about it, you’ve probably tried it for yourself, and that you’re probably a devout believer in its wondrous virtues. Because it’s basically the best thing ever. (Especially on a charcoal grill!).
So really, I’ll just share this dressing with you. Hopefully it’s a new idea for your grilled lettuce for the rest of this summer. This one is really amazing. I mean, it’s bacon. And blue cheese, two ingredients just made for each other. And then you mix them with the smoky char on that lettuce, and it’s just too good. So yum. Try this salad the next time you’re firing up your grill. You won’t regret it. I promise.
Source: adapted from Guy Fieri Food by Guy Fieri
2 oz. bacon, chopped
¼ cup finely diced red onion
3 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 ½ tbs extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 romaine heart, trimmed
3-4 tbs crumbled blue cheese
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. If using lean or center-cut bacon, drizzle in a tad bit of olive oil. Add the bacon and cook until fat is rendered and bacon is very crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
Add the onion to the bacon drippings and sauté until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add the vinegar, olive oil and reserved bacon to the skillet. Reduce for about 1 minute, then shut off the heat. Set aside.
Prep the lettuce for grilling. With a sharp chef’s knife cut the lettuce lengthwise but stop short at the core, keeping the lettuce intact. Drizzle one side with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Oil your grill grate. Lay the romaine down on the grill, seasoned side down. Grill until marks are visible and the leaves are charred, about 1-2 minutes per side. Remove to a cutting board.
Chop the lettuce and place in a serving bowl. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the lettuce, sprinkle with blue cheese and more fresh cracked black pepper as desired.