Why You Ought to Grill Lettuce, In accordance To A Chef


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

Whereas this system is likely to be new to some, for Danny Grant, a two-Michelin starred govt chef and accomplice 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 be taught precisely the right way 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.

Easy methods to make the very best grilled lettuce at dwelling

1. Begin out with a dense head of lettuce

All of it begins while you’re procuring on the farmer’s market or your native grocery retailer. “The important thing to creating a fantastic grilled salad at dwelling lies in choosing the proper head of lettuce,” Grant says. “You need to be certain to seize a dense one—assume a lot of tight, thick layers of leaves—so it may face up to the extreme warmth.” A hearty head of romaine is a good lettuce choice for grilling, however endive, escarole, radicchio, or inexperienced leaf lettuce can be equally scrumptious.

2. Get your grill blazing sizzling

“Whether or not for lettuce or steak, I do know everybody desires 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 sizzling.” So be certain to securely set your grill on excessive if these darkish grill marks and scrumptious seared taste are what you’re seeking to obtain.

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 primary 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 offers you a a lot hotter fireplace. All the things can be each simpler and extra scrumptious from there,” Grant says.

3. Solely grill a single facet

Subsequent, Grant recommends solely charring one facet. “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 prepare dinner is a should for optimum taste and texture. “As an illustration, I’m additionally massive massive 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 prepare dinner. This helps to prepare dinner them right through because it softens up the veg and breaks it down a bit in the easiest way,” 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 additional virgin olive oil (plus extra for garnishing)
A couple of cracks of contemporary floor black pepper
2 ounces Caesar dressing (traditional do-it-yourself or store-bought)
1 ounce parmesan (shredded)
1/4 cup toasted brown butter panko breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp effective 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 sizzling as it may go.

2. Minimize romaine coronary heart with the basis finish nonetheless hooked up to ensure the romaine stays on the grill whereas cooking.

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

4. In your sizzling grill, put the romaine on the minimize facet down. You need to get a very good char on one facet 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 slightly bit of affection.

2. Grate contemporary 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 effective herbs.

3. Drizzle some high quality additional virgin olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, and contemporary 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, in line with the chef

So, for those who actually need to take the grilling recreation severely, Grant shares methods to serve grilled meals for each meal of the day—sure, even breakfast. With regards to 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 slightly drizzle of honey—primarily a kicked-up tackle a parfait,” he says. And on the subject of 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 proper candy ending to stability out a heavier protein-filled meal. Let’s simply say we’re bought.


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