Yeah, it’s a thing, and it’s epic.
You know how sometimes you’re walking home from work, or maybe hanging laundry on the line, and you catch a whiff of someone’s grill, and you stop dead in your tracks because the heavenly aroma invades your brain and YOU. MUST. HAVE. GRILLED. MEAT. NOW?
The charcoal fever can be tough when you’re a pescetarian, and even tougher when you’re trying to eat healthily. And it’s darn-near impossible when you haven’t shopped for a week.
Then it occurred to me—some lettuces hold up nicely to pan heat… so why not try to grill it? Bam! The great experiment was on.
I took a big, hearty head of romaine and split it right down the center, vertically. Brushed both halves with olive oil and seasoned with a touch of cracked black pepper and kosher salt. Then I tossed them on a charcoal grill. They cooked for about two to three minutes, I turned them, and they cooked for about two minutes more. The end result produced a mix of softish pieces and crispier leaves. I did a rough chop of the lettuce while it was still hot.
Add to your lettuce:
- one grilled (almost blackened) ear of corn, kernels removed
- a heap of black beans
- avocado, cut into cubes or chunks
- a few tablespoons of some wonderful cheese (don’t mess with the shredded-from-the-bag stuff—I went with an aged goat’s milk feta and it was divine)
- a few spritzes of lime juice
Here’s what happens: the olive oil (all warm and smoky from the grill) combines with the avocado and lime juice, creating an unctuous, creamy, decadent “dressing.” The tangy cheese warms ever-so-slightly, contrasting with the charred corn.
It is bliss, my friends. Sweet, summery, salad bliss.