Well March is here, and I’m aching for the long days of summer and grilling on the BBQ, but I’ll have to wait a bit longer. As I’m sitting here writing this post, it is pouring rain, and the temps are just above freezing—yuck! We are big BBQ-er’s at our house, and in the Pacific Northwest you just suck it up and stand at the grill under an umbrella until the sun comes out in July.
I’m in the mood for a grilled Caesar salad and this one you can do under the broiler in your oven—no umbrella needed! This recipe is adapted from Sam Sifton’s Grilled Romaine from New York Times Cooking. Lettuces do nicely on the grill and under the broiler, softening slightly at their centers and charring beautifully at their tips. In this recipe, the dressing is Caesar-like. Dijon mustard and mayonnaise serve as emulsifiers; I prefer dairy-free Vegenaise brand mayonnaise. It has anchovies in it; if you don’t like anchovies, I beg you to give it a try. I only put two in, which gives this salad great flavor and depth while the garlic and vinegar provide a welcome kick. This dressing is easy to make vegetarian or vegan: just omit the anchovies for vegetarian and additionally take out the Parmesan cheese to make it vegan. Make sure to paint the dressing into the crevices between the leaves so that while the lettuce caramelizes slightly on the exterior. Watch them carefully, this recipe only takes a few minutes in the oven.