Grilled Romaine Salad is this summers go-to for an easy and delicious side. Romaine lettuce is grilled and topped with bacon, toasted hand-torn croutons, parmesan cheese and the creamiest lemon dressing. Serves 4 in about 30 minutes!
Summertime = Grilled Romaine Salad!
If you haven’t tried grilling romaine, what are you waiting for? Grilling romaine adds delicious flavor while slightly wilting the leaves making them even more tender and delicious. This is currently my go-to summer salad because it has all my favorite things like; bacon, parmesan, crisp hand-torn croutons and pickled red onions – which if you haven’t noticed I put on everything.
Lastly, each salad gets drizzled with the creamiest lemon dressing.
A summer MUST if you ask me.
To Make This Grilled Romaine Salad You Will need:
- romaine – Choose medium size heads. I use the ones that usually come in a 3-pack.
- olive oil – I use roasted garlic infused, but any will do.
- kosher salt – This is needed in order to draw out flavor.
- bacon – Besides delicious bacon-y flavor, bacon adds a smokiness that’s delicious with the grilled romaine.
- whole grain bread – Try to find an sturdy unsliced seedy loaf. Usually located in the bakery.
- pickled red onion – Adds delicious tang.
- parmesan cheese – What’s a salad without cheese? Parmesan adds a slightly salty, fruity and nutty flavor.
- black pepper – This will add some subtle bite and flavor.
- creamy lemon dressing – Super simple and only 5 ingredients!
The dressing is SIMPLE. All you will need is mayonnaise (personally, I use a light mayo), garlic (the kind in a squeeze tube is your friend!), lemon zest and juice, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
In a small bowl or jar, measure and add 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon grated garlic, zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste) and lots of freshly ground black pepper.
Whisk well to combine. I add a splash of water to thin it out. I love a runny dressing, it’s a weakness.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Earlier I cooked up 8 slices of center cut bacon and gave it a really fine chop.
Next preheat your grill to 500°. Then slice 2 medium heads of romaine in half lengthwise.
As far as what type of romaine to buy?
I like using the ones that come in a pack of 3 or more. Those seem to be the perfect size and are held more tightly together than larger heads of romaine.
Brush the cut side of the romaine lettuce halves with olive oil. Like I noted earlier, I love this roasted garlic olive oil I picked up at Costco and use it on all the things lately. But any olive oil will work just fine.
And season with a few small pinches of kosher salt.
Once I cooked the bacon, I drained off most of the bacon grease. Then I threw in a couple cups of torn, seedy bread – to be honest, I didn’t measure – and toasted it over medium heat in the skillet until golden brown.
When your grill has preheated, place the romaine cut-side down onto the grill grates. Use tongs to gently press each half to the grates. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes.
I also threw on a couple lemon halves. These make for beautiful garnish, and will add an extra punch of lemon if you want to squeeze it over top.
Turn and grill for an additional 2 to 3 minutes – the lettuce and not the lemons. Just to be clear 😉
Transfer to a platter.
And top with spoonfuls of dressing, pickled red onions, crumbled bacon, crunchy croutons, parmesan shavings and lots of freshly ground black pepper.
And then more dressing.
The char on the lettuce adds a nice depth of flavor in contrast to the salty bacon and the bite of the onion. The dressing is ridiculously good. So fresh from the lemon and then there’s a light punch of garlic.
It’s addictive and I’m totally okay with that.
Grilled Romaine Salad
FOR THE DRESSING:
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise, I use a light mayo
- 1 teaspoon garlic (grated)
- 1/2 large lemon, zest and juice
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
FOR THE SALAD:
- 8 slices center cut bacon
- 2 cups seedy whole grain bread, hand torn into pieces
- 2 medium romaine lettuce heads, halved
- garlic olive oil, or regular, for brushing
- pickled red onion
- parmesan cheese shavings
MAKE THE DRESSING:
- In a small jar or bowl, combine mayo, garlic, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper. Whisk well to combine. Add a splash of water to thin out the dressing, if desired. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
MAKE THE SALAD:
- Cook bacon in a skillet until crispy. Drain on paper towels before giving a fine chop. Drain out all but a little of the bacon fat and add the torn pieces of bread to the pan. Toast the croutons over medium heat until crisp and golden.
- Preheat your grill to 500°.
- Meanwhile, cut your romaine in half and brush the cut side with olive oil. Once your grill is preheated, place the romaine cut-side down onto the grill grates. Use tongs to press the lettuce gently onto the grates. Grill for 2 to 3 mintues before turning. Repeat on the second side before transferring to a platter.
- Top grilled romaine with a little of the dressing, the bacon crumbles, croutons, some pickled red onion, parmesan cheese shavings. Top with more dressing and lots of freshly ground black pepper.
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