Grilling Lettuce! Really?!

Last weekend Sara and I were the beneficiaries of the wonderful hospitality of our good friends, the Tubbs.  Eric and Penny live in a largely rural area that has a tremendous bounty of fresh foods.  Eric is a fellow foodie and a very good cook.  I told him, “Eric you remind me of Alice Waters. Your food is garden fresh, prepared simply and with perfect technique.”

That evening while Eric was preparing dinner, he started up the grill way before the entree was going to be prepared and I was wondering what was up.  Then he pulled out a tray of Romaine lettuce hearts that were split in half lengthwise.  He brushed them lightly with olive oil and seasoned them with a little salt and pepper, then popped them on the grill.  He didn’t cook them long, just until there was a nice little char on each side.  It was our first dish, topped with a pleasant Caesar dressing.  The lettuce was complex.  It was partially wilted and partially crisp.  It has some grilled flavor mixed with the garden fresh flavor.  It was great.  I am going to making this quite often in the future.

Then the next week I was having lunch in the posh city of Birmingham at a restaurant called Local.  Local is a fairly new and highly acclaimed restaurant.  I ordered a Caesar salad, and what do you know? It came out grilled just like Eric’s.  Well there you have it, a new trend in fine dining, grilled romaine lettuce.  Try it! You’ll like it!

Grilled Romaine Salad