Hero, Recipes, Spring

Grilled Gem Salad with Caesar Dressing

As a kid, the grilled caesar salad at The Belvedere Inn was the fanciest thing I ate and I enjoyed ordering it whenever we had the treat of dining there! I’ve come a long way from being that kid, but the taste of that grilled romaine is still ingrained in my memory. There’s no need to go out to enjoy such a fancy salad now…in fact, it couldn’t be easier to make. 

This is such a crowd pleaser! If you’re serving it alongside any grilled meat, cook your lettuce while the meat rests. I’m using little gem lettuces cut in half, but a romaine head cut into halves or quarters will do or even the tendita lettuce heads.

Dressing Notes: I’m making a vegetarian, yogurt based caesar dressing that’s a bit lighter. You can substitute mayo for the yogurt if you prefer. This is your salad!

Serves 4 as a side, you can half the recipe or save the dressing.

What you need: 

  • 2 gem lettuces, cut in half lengthwise and washed & drained watch the video here
  • ¼ cup oil for dressing, more for the grilling
  • ¾ plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup grated lanchengo or parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1 stalk spring garlic or 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chopped chives, and flowers for serving
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon finely chopped pickles

Heat your grill or grill pan to medium heat, about 350 F

Mix all the ingredients except the lettuce together to make dressing. (I usually do this ahead of time, about 20 minutes before grilling, to let the flavors meld together.) You can use an immersion blender to really blend everything together, but mixing by hand will do the trick too! Season generously. 

Toss your lettuce wedges with some oil, and then place the cut side on the grill. Cook about a minutes on each side, until you have nice char marks all over. Place on platter and then drizzle with the dressing making sure to get some in all the crevices. Serve with more grated cheese on top! This dish is best served immediately.