Monday, June 28, 2010

Something different for your grill

I love to grill certain lettuces -- especially radicchio, and grilled romaine lettuce has become somewhat common on restaurant menus.
As is true with many vegetables, grilling lettuces downplays some of their bitterness and can bring out sweet flavors. This works really well with the red-colored radicchio.
For dressing, I tried a somewhat lightened version of blue cheese. Truly, the only way you can make that dressing really light is to use just a small amount of it on your salad!
Another variation on the topping for your grilled lettuces would be to omit the cheese and add lemon juice and a little honey, which would further offset any bitterness in the vegetables. Throw a few cherry or grape tomatoes on your salad if you want more variety in the flavors.
I personally like grilled radicc so much that I don't care about much else on my plate.

Recipe: Grilled Radicchio and Romaine Salad
Serves 4
1 large head radicchio, cut in half, limp outer leaves removed
1 head romaine lettuce, any limp outer leaves removed
Olive oil
For the dressing:
1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk
1/4 cup light or nonfat sour cream
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese OR 2 T lemon juice, 1 T honey and a dash of salt

Brush or spray lettuces with olive oil and place on a preheated, medium-hot grill. Turn every couple of minutes, allowing lettuce to char only slightly. Cooking time will vary depending on how hot your grill is, but it should take no more than 10 minutes to cook the lettuce on all sides. Remove to a platter and let cool for at least 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
Cut the radicchio halves in half again, and cut the romaine into four pieces. Put one piece of each lettuce onto four salad plates.
Drizzle with half the dressing and serve, passing additional dressing at table.

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