Romaine lettuce is often eaten raw but they can also be enjoyed grilled and make a delicious salad or easy appetizers for weekend barbecues. In this recipe adapted from USA Weekend, romaine lettuce hearts healthy recipes are cut into half lengthwise and sprayed with olive oil and grilled until subtly caramelized and wilted. The natural sugars found in the romaine lettuce are intensified as it browns in the grills. The grilled romaine are seasoned with a tangy salad dressing or lemon juice, garlic, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
Compared with other types of lettuce, romaine is relatively firm and crunchier so they can take more heat than other kinds of lettuce. Like most leafy green vegetables, they wilt quickly so you should heat them on the grill only briefly just enough to give them charred edges and wilt them only lightly for a pleasant texture.
Before grilling, wash the romaine head and pull off any old or wilted leaves. Leave the root end intact to hold the lettuce head together. If the romaine lettuce hearts are relatively small in size, you can grill the lettuce whole. If you are cooking larger heads, split the lettuce lengthwise to make them easier to cook and for a nice presentation. Use tongs to flip turn the lettuce once and two at most.
Ingredients: 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, preferably fresh, 1 small clove garlic, minced, 3/4 tsp. Dijon mustard, 1/8 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 tsp. coarse ground black pepper, 2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, 2 hearts Romaine lettuce
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except the cheese and lettuce, whisking to blend. Stir in cheese. Cut lettuce hearts length-wise into halves. Spray them with cooking spray. Place on heated grill and cook until the lettuce wilts slightly, and grill marks form, about 6 minutes. Turn once or twice during cooking. Remove from heat. Serve drizzled with vinaigrette dressing and a sprinkling of cheese, if desired.
Half a heart of lettuce makes a beautiful presentation, and you can serve it on a plate, one half per person. You can also chop the grilled lettuce into bite-sized pieces and toss them in the salad dressing. Add other kinds of vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and carrots just as you would when making raw salad. Alternatively, you can serve grilled lettuce with other grilled vegetables like grilled tomatoes, grilled onions, grilled eggplant, grilled bell peppers, and even grilled mushrooms. Grilled potatoes also go well with grilled lettuce for a different take on regular potato salad.