This period of the season is by far my favourite. There’s so much abundance. Fields and home gardens are overflowing. Nature is generous, offering us her most precious gifts. Every produce is beautifully vibrant and alive, providing us with an amazing array of nutrients. There are very few things that are more satisfying to me than biting into a perfectly ripe peach, enjoying a simple toast with the best tomatoes of the year, or eating grilled corn on the cob three nights a week.
My appetite is slightly more shy during those summer days and simple salads make very frequent appearances in the kitchen. But this one here is a bit different. Unusual and unexpected in all the good ways. Grilled lettuce you guys.
I came across the idea of grilling romaine lettuce last summer, but it was only this year that I finally decided to give it a go. There was this note in my “ideas for the blog” notebook from over a year ago that said: “grilled romaine with tomatoes/peaches?!”. I brought this idea to life and decided to add some sweet corn too. The experiment did not disappoint. And I knew this recipe had to make it to the blog this month. Who knew that grilling lettuce would be so good? So simple, yet so surprinsgly delicious. The lettuce becomes tender on the inside, but slightly crispy on the edges, retaining the delicious smokey flavour of the bbq.
Top your grilled romaine hearts with the best vegetables and fruits available at the moment, some fresh herbs and lots of lemon, and you’ve got a beautiful, vibrant salad. The quintessence of summer in one dish. This salad would make a great side dish, accompaniment to a protein or light lunch. For a fuller meal, you could add some grilled tofu or tempeh (in a spicy/smoky marinade perhaps?), or a handful of toasted nuts. I hope you get to try it this season, and please let me know if you do!
If you like this recipe, feel free to pin it to Pinterest. If you make it, make sure to tag your photos with #thegreenlifeblog on Instagram so I can see! And for more inspiration throughout the week, follow me on Nom.
Notes on the recipe: Grilled lettuce becomes soggy after sitting for too long, so make sure to grill it right before serving. You can make the topping mixture ahead of time to let the flavours mingle a bit. However, I recommend adding peaches only at the end, as they tend to be too fragile/soft and lose some of their juices.
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- Zest of ½ lemon (about 1 tsp)
- Pinch of sea salt
- 2 ears of corn, husks and silks removed
- 1½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- ¼ red onion, minced (about 2 tbsp)
- A small handful fresh mint, chopped
- A small handful fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 jalapeno or red chili pepper, minced (optional)
- 2 ripe peaches, pitted and sliced
- 2 romaine hearts, sliced in half lengthwise
- A bit of high-heat oil for grilling (avocado, grapeseed oil, etc.)
- Sea salt
- In a small bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients. Set aside.
- Preheat your bbq to high. Place corn ears on the grill and cook for about 8-10 minutes, turning halfway, until slightly charred. Remove from the grill and let cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife to cut the kernels from the cob. Place in a bowl.
- Add the sliced tomatoes, red onion, fresh herbs and chili pepper to the bowl of corn. Add a few spoonfuls of the lemon vinaigrette (reserve some for serving) and toss to combine.
- When ready to eat, brush both sides of the romaine hearts with a bit of oil. Sprinkle with a good pinch of sea salt. Place the romaine on the bbq grill at high heat, cut side down. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Then flip and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
- Add the peaches to the corn and tomato mixture and toss gently. Place the grilled romaine on a plate, cut side up. Top with the salad mixture, and add a drizzle of the remaining dressing if desired. Serve immediately.
“Don’t act like you live twice.”