Summer salads looking more like main dishes

With about a month to go, salads submitted by celebrity chefs for The Associated Press’ “20 Salads of Summer” series are looking more and more like main dishes. To be fair, it’s hard to go wrong with blue cheese and bacon, particularly when the lettuce is grilled to bring out smoky flavors.

Not surprisingly, this one comes from Guy Fieri, who confessed his deep love for taco salads to the AP. I would have preferred his take on that dish — also much loved in my house — at this juncture. We’ve already seen grilled salads, warm vinaigrettes and pork, although not as much as I expected from porcine-partial chefs.

AP photo

AP photo

Grilled Romaine With Blue Cheese-Bacon Vinaigrette

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

3⁄4 cup finely diced red onion

1⁄2 pound bacon, diced into 1⁄4-inch pieces

1⁄2 cup balsamic vinegar

3 Romaine lettuce heads, halved lengthwise, cores removed and discarded, leafy ends trimmed off

Salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

1⁄2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Heat a grill or indoor grill pan to high.

In a large skillet over high, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the onion and bacon and cook until bacon is crispy, about 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer onion and bacon to a plate. Return skillet to heat and add the balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bring to a simmer, then cook to reduce for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Brush the Romaine with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, then season with the salt and pepper. Place on grill cut-side down and quickly sear until grill marks are visible. Set aside.

For each serving, place half a head of Romaine cut-side up on a plate and drizzle with balsamic dressing. Sprinkle with the blue cheese and bacon-onion mixture, then season with more black pepper.

Makes 6 servings.

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    Sarah Lemon

    Sarah Lemon covers the Rogue Valley’s food scene with an enthusiasm that rivals her love of cooking. Her blog mixes culinary musings and milestones with tips and recipes you won’t find in the Mail Tribune’s weekly A la Carte section. When ... Read Full
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