Grilled Romaine & Chicken Salad
Grilled romaine is pretty great all by itself — a little charred, a little crispy and wilted, full of smoke. But it’s absolutely dynamite tossed with tender, grilled chicken, a handful of Parmesan, and a tangy, garlicky anchovy vinaigrette. When we were testing the recipe, we invited a few of our colleagues in for a taste, and the entire platter of salad disappeared in seconds. That kind of enthusiasm is usually reserved for things like donuts.
We get it! We’re obsessed too, and it’s definitely the salad we’ll be making all summer long. It’s very easy to put together, and if you serve it with a baguette, you’ve got a hearty, satisfying lunch — or a light dinner. If you’re going all out, fruit salad is nice too.
Our tips: This salad doesn’t wear well overnight, so take care to make just enough for yourself or your family. And for a wine pairing, think about something bright and citrusy, like Margerum 2012 Sybarite Sauvignon Blanc.
For the dressing:
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
6 anchovy fillets, rinsed and minced
2 tsp mayonnaise
2 tsp Dijon mustard
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
For the chicken:
1 lb chicken breasts
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
For the grilled romaine:
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 heads romaine lettuce, tops and bottoms trimmed neatly, the heads cut lengthwise into quarters
½ cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
Prepare your grill, leaving one side free of coals. When coals are covered with gray ash, and the temperature is medium (you can hold your hand 5 inches above the coals for 5 to 7 seconds), you are ready to cook. (For a gas grill, turn all burners to high, lower cover, and heat for 15 minutes, then turn burners to medium.)
To make the dressing: In a small bowl, combine the minced garlic and anchovies with a whisk, mixing and mashing until they form a paste.
Add the mayonnaise and mustard to the dressing and whisk together.
Add the olive oil, whisking all the while, and then add the vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
To make the chicken: Brush the chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Place the chicken breasts on the grill and sear them for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the chicken 90 degrees and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the chicken breasts, and repeat.
Move the chicken off of the direct heat, and cook it for 10 more minutes or until the temperature reaches 165° on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the chicken to a platter and set aside.
To make the grilled romaine: Drizzle the olive oil over the quartered heads of lettuce. Grill the lettuce directly over the hot coals for 15 to 20 seconds per side, until they are lightly golden, then remove to the cool side of the grill.
Using a pastry brush or a small spoon, paint the dressing over the lettuce, making sure to get the dressing between the leaves.
Sprinkle the lettuce with the Parmesan, and cover the grill for 1 or 2 minutes to allow the cheese to melt and the lettuce to soften further. Remove the lettuce to the platter, garnish with chicken and Parmesan, and serve.
Recipe adapted from: NYT Cooking