Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Grilled Hearts of Romaine with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette and Pickled Onions

Bon Appétit | January 2011 by Kate and Mike Higgins
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen
Serves 8

Kim, our new farmers market manager called me to say that her husband had just delivered fresh picked beauties of romaine lettuce to Lost River Market & Deli, our community-owned grocery store.  I made a beeline over to buy some because I wanted to try grilling it, which I’d never done before.  My mother was visiting and we were having friends over for dinner that evening on our just-cleaned porch.  I made Flank Steak with Lime Marinade, Indian Yellow Rice and Roasted Cauliflower, and they were all delicious, but this salad was the big hit of the evening.  I made the dressing and the pickled onions earlier in the day and then as everyone was being seated around the table, I placed the romaine on the grill.  They turn out perfectly wilted with little grill marks.  Place them on a pretty platter, drizzle with the dressing and serve the pickled onions on the side.  Zowee!  This recipe makes a lot of dressing and pickled onions, so use what’s left as additions to a delicious salad the next day for lunch.

Pickled Onions Ingredients
1 ½ cups white wine vinegar
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
3 bay leaves
½ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
Coarse kosher salt
1 to 1 ¼ pounds red onions, thinly sliced (I used sweet onions because that’s what I had on hand.)

Salad Ingredients
¼ cup white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ cup olive oil
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
4 hearts of romaine, each quartered lengthwise Crumbled blue cheese (for garnish)

For Pickled Onions:
Combine first 5 ingredients and ¼ teaspoon coarse salt in medium saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Add onions and stir to blend; return to simmer and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Season with freshly ground black pepper and more salt, if desired. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.

For Salad:
Prepare barbecue (medium- high heat). Combine vinegar and mustard in bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season with coarse salt and pepper. Mix in ½ cup cheese.
Brush cut sides of romaine with olive oil, then sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Grill until cut sides are lightly charred, about 2 minutes per side.
Divide grilled romaine among plates. Top with vinaigrette, pickled onions, and blue cheese.

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