Why You Should Grill Lettuce, According To A Chef

When the season for belly-flopping contests and chlorine-scented hair rolls round, that may solely imply one factor: It is barbecue season, particularly with regards to cooking veggie burgers, kebabs, and… salad. Sure, you heard that proper, salad. Other than the same old grilling go-tos like scorching canine, corn on the cob, and drumsticks, grilled lettuce is likely to be some of the underrated and yet-to-be celebrated barbecue objects on the menu.

Whereas this method is likely to be new to some, for Danny Grant, a two-Michelin starred government chef and associate of Gold Coast steakhouse, Maple & Ash, consuming grilled lettuce each summer time is the norm. Able to make it a part of your common summer time meal rotation, too? We spoke with Chef Grant to study precisely tips on how to grill lettuce like a professional, plus he shared his all-time favourite grilled Caesar salad recipe with us so you possibly can check out your method tonight.

The way to make the most effective grilled lettuce at house

1. Begin out with a dense head of lettuce

All of it begins while you’re buying on the farmer’s market or your native grocery retailer. “The important thing to creating an amazing grilled salad at house lies in choosing the proper head of lettuce,” Grant says. “You must ensure to seize a dense one—suppose plenty of tight, thick layers of leaves—so it may well face up to the extraordinary warmth.” A hearty head of romaine is a good lettuce possibility for grilling, however endive, escarole, radicchio, or inexperienced leaf lettuce can be equally scrumptious.

2. Get your grill blazing scorching

“Whether or not for lettuce or steak, I do know everybody needs to nail these superb grill marks—however you are by no means ever going to get them in case you are working with something lower than a hades-level blaze,” Grant says. “When going for that steakhouse sear and crust, your fireplace must be completely ripping scorching.” So ensure to securely set your grill on excessive if these darkish grill marks and scrumptious seared taste are what you’re trying to obtain.

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How does Grant obtain the perfect blazing-hot fireplace on his grill, you ask? All of it comes down to at least one must-have device: a charcoal starter. “This [tool] is as fundamental because it will get, however I don’t care. I’m nothing with out my charcoal starter. It is so essential for out of doors grilling as a result of a charcoal starter provides you with a a lot hotter fireplace. Every part can be each simpler and extra scrumptious from there,” Grant says.

3. Solely grill a single aspect

Subsequent, Grant recommends solely charring one aspect. “This can preserve it from turning into wilted mush whereas nonetheless packing critical wood-fired taste.”

4. Salt earlier than you sear

Whether or not you are grilling lettuce or one other sort of vegetable, Grant says that salting earlier than you cook dinner is a should for max taste and texture. “As an illustration, I’m additionally large large fan of grilled summer time squash. It has a very nice texture that interprets properly to salads, sandwiches, and wraps—however I by no means make it with out scoring slices and salting them an hour earlier than I’m able to cook dinner. This helps to cook dinner them all over because it softens up the veg and breaks it down a bit in one of the simplest ways,” Grant says. (Say goodbye to too-hard-to-chew bell peppers eternally.) Within the case of lettuce, you possibly can salt proper earlier than you sear—no have to do it an hour forward of time.

Maple & Ash’s fork & knife grilled Caesar salad recipe

Yields 1 serving


1 romaine coronary heart
1/2 ounce further virgin olive oil (plus extra for garnishing)
A number of cracks of recent floor black pepper
2 ounces Caesar dressing (traditional selfmade or store-bought)
1 ounce parmesan (shredded)
1/4 cup toasted brown butter panko breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp tremendous herb salad (finely chopped chive tops, watercress, tarragon, and chervil)
Juice of 1/4 lemon
Sprint of Maldon salt
1 soft-cooked, 7-minute egg (cut up in half)

Cooking the lettuce:
1. Warmth your grill (ideally wood-fired) as scorching as it may well go.

2. Reduce romaine coronary heart with the basis finish nonetheless connected to ensure the romaine stays on the grill whereas cooking.

3. Drizzle a superb little bit of olive oil on the minimize a part of the romaine and season with salt and cracked black pepper.

4. In your scorching grill, put the romaine on the minimize aspect down. You wish to get a superb char on one aspect of the lettuce with out making the entire lettuce head soggy. Grill for not more than 6 minutes, turning the lettuce 90 levels after 3 minutes.

5. Switch the lettuce to a tray to relaxation for a couple of minutes earlier than garnishing.

To construct the salad:
1. To complete the salad, put the caesar dressing in between the nooks and crannies of the lettuce to ensure every leaf will get a bit bit of affection.

2. Grate recent parmesan excessive of the lettuce with a Microplane or cheese grater. Sprinkle on high the toasted panko that has been cooked with browned butter (quite simple, simply brown some butter and add toasted breadcrumbs). Garnish with tremendous herbs.

3. Drizzle some high quality further virgin olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, and recent cracked black pepper to complete.

4. Serve with a soft-boiled egg that is been cut up in half.

What else you need to be grilling, based on the chef

So, for those who actually wish to take the grilling recreation significantly, Grant shares methods to serve grilled meals for each meal of the day—sure, even breakfast. On the subject of grilling very first thing within the morning, the chef instantly reaches for the fruit basket. “Throw some pineapple, peaches, or different stone fruit on the grill. Good for a well-rounded morning dish when served with greek yogurt, granola, and a bit drizzle of honey—basically a kicked-up tackle a parfait,” he says. And with regards to dessert, Grant additionally loves grilling fruits for his go-to fire-roasted dessert: fruit glazed with lavender honey served with ricotta cake and a dollop of whipped cream, which he says is the right candy ending to steadiness out a heavier protein-filled meal. Let’s simply say we’re offered.

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