While I don’t have a grill at home in SF, I happened to be at my in-laws cabin in Tahoe so wanted to take full advantage of the offerings. That being said, this recipe can easily be made with raw romaine or by throwing the romaine heart in the broiler for a few minutes – but be sure to watch carefully.
This was inspired by an awesome grilled romaine salad I had on Point Reyes last month when Scott and I celebrated our 4 year anniversary. On a separate occasion a few friends and I tried out the newest restaurant in my neighborhood and the salad came with polenta croutons. They were so good we ordered a side of just the croutons. The waitress asked what we planned to put them on given our salad was already finished, gave us a strange look when we told her we just wanted to eat them and went on her way… but they were just SO good! So, of course I had to try to make them myself.
This salad is the perfect combination of crispy and creamy… oh there is just something really special about grilled romaine. And what’s even more fun? This is a salad you can pick up and eat with your hands. Yep, you can go ahead and just pick up the romaine boat and bite into it like you would a taco. Oh the joy I get out of such simple things!
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 round of polenta, cubed
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ cups good mild olive oil – add more if consistency is not as desired
- ¾ cup (divided) vegan parmesan - see notes
- 6 hearts of romaine, sliced lengthwise
- Heat grill. Skip this step if using raw romaine.
- Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add polenta and cook until crisp and browned, turning occasionally so all sides are equally cooked - about 10-15 minutes. Set aside when done.
- Meanwhile, prepare dressing by placing dijon, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper and ½ cup parmesan in a food processor. Slowly add olive oil until dressing is mixed well and is desired consistency. Taste and add more seasoning as needed. Set aside.
- Lightly brush romaine hearts with a little olive oil. Place on grill until browned - about 5 minutes. Skip this step if using raw romaine.
- To serve, top romaine with dressing, polenta croutons and sprinkle with remaining vegan parmesan.