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Camping Gone Gourmet Side: Grilled Lettuce

The next time you're camping, serve grilled lettuce instead of a predictable side salad. Grilled lettuce makes for an excellent twist on a salad and it's deliciously crisp. Make the blue cheese dressing and bacon crumbles before you leave for the campground and pack both in your cooler with the lettuce. Grill the lettuce like you would any other veggie and pair with sliced tri-tip or barbecued chicken. It's the perfect camping gone gourmet side, so check out the recipe

Grilled Lettuce With Blue Cheese Dressing
From Fine Cooking magazine
Image Source

For the dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup whole milk; more as needed
6 oz. crumbled blue cheese, such as Roquefort or Danish Blue; more to taste
1-1/2 Tbs. finely grated shallot
1 clove finely grated garlic
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper; more to taste
For the salad:
2 hearts of romaine lettuce, bases trimmed but left intact, halved lengthwise
Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 slices smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled (preferably applewood)

  1. Make the dressing: in a medium bowl, stir the mayonnaise, sour cream, milk, blue cheese, shallot, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours to let the flavors develop. Before using, taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. The dressing will thicken as it sits and may need to be thinned with more milk.
  2. Prepare the salad: once the dressing is chilled, heat a gas grill to medium low or prepare a medium-low charcoal fire. Be sure the grate is hot, too.
  3. Lightly brush olive oil all over the romaine hearts, taking care not to break the leaves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Put the lettuce cut side down on the grate, directly over the heat. Grill until the outer leaves are charred and wilted and the lettuce is warm and just barely tender all the way through to the core, 2 to 5 minutes, depending on the heat of your grill.
  5. Transfer the lettuce to a clean platter and let rest for 5 minutes.
  6. To serve: place half a heart of romaine, cut side up, on each plate, top with about 2 tablespoons of the blue cheese dressing, or more to taste, and sprinkle with the crumbled bacon. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Join The Conversation
mominator mominator 10 years
I was thinking yuck but the pic looks delish!
tkoblondee tkoblondee 10 years
Nope, not for me!
Food Food 10 years
roberto - that picture looks great!
roberto roberto 10 years
I keep it simple and just do romaine lettuce, olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. I sometimes add parmigiano reggiano after I put it on the grill. The lettuce only needs a couple minutes to turn tart then it is done. So freaking good. This is the only picture I could find:,0,0 I think that time I added some cayenne or chili powder to spice it up to match the meat I was cooking.
Green Green 10 years
ALSW ALSW 10 years
Oh, this sounds delicious! I too am not a fan of Bleu cheese, so maybe some Caesar or oil and vinegar instead. :DROOL:
Giasbash6260 Giasbash6260 10 years
Do u think grilled lettuce would be good....if it was just plain? Maybe a little olive oil??
kiddylnd kiddylnd 10 years
hmmm...I don't like Blue Cheese so I'll have to experiment with this one to find a good dressing. Maybe I'll look up that Alton Brown recipe!
saffy1227 saffy1227 10 years
lms lms 10 years
I had grilled romaine once at a restaurant called The Yard House. It was excellent.
JessBear JessBear 10 years
I've been wanting to try this. Alton Brown did something like this on Good Eats, where he added parmesean to the lettuce before he grilled it, and then topped it with shaved frozen vinegar for dressing. It looked delicious!
Pokemyhontas Pokemyhontas 10 years
OH, MAAANNNNN,,,,,this sounds FAB!!!
partysugar partysugar 10 years
Actually haze1nut, I have had little romaine hearts served like that. Lechuga al ajilo is a tapa common in Southern Spain and it's my friend Antonio's favorite so we get like every time we go out. And you are so right, it's tasty!
laurafox laurafox 10 years
Wow, that sounds super good!
haze1nut haze1nut 10 years
omg! have you ever sauteed lettuce before? it is absolutely delicious with some butter, little garlic, salt pepper, little chicken stock and then maybe throw in some green peas for some variety. my boyfriend made it once and it's very delicate and sweet and yummy! i was like wow. different from spinach. but he uses the little baby romaine leaves that are inside the lettuce and cuts them in half and doesn't cook them for too long bc you don't want to eat it too wilted. you still want it to have some crisp.
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