This summer has proven to be quite a diverse and eclectic season thus far. My home has been filled to the brim with loveliness and laughter and blonde heads roaming the halls.
My niece came to stay with us for a college internship and of course my two sassy gals had to be in the thick of things with her. The girls have grown up together and are separated by two and half to three years each. I used to call them my stair step kids. My two girls, six years apart and my niece smack in the middle. I tell her she’s my middle child. She laughs her infectious laugh and then we all move on to reminiscing about when the girls were young and watch home movies of dances and plays they performed.
We spent weekends touring the state and showing our niece the beauty of Oregon and I had the opportunity to try a few new things – like riding the dunes and nearly losing my breakfast on those dunes. We prepared loads of family meals, barbecues and baked goods and sat around the patio table or living room sofa discussing life, love, dreams, health and nutrition, because one cannot leave the Bennett house without a little discussion on health and nutrition. We’re just a little weird that way. 😉
Our sweet niece went back to school for her summer quarter and we went back to summer weekends walking the beach (and missing her) and eating seafood to kayaking the alpine lakes in the mountains and stopping for barbecue on the way home. Time spent together, adventuring, enjoying the outdoors and most importantly, dining together.
Life around my table is never short of interesting conversation, stories of times past or delicious food. Life – just the way I like it.
This lovely Grilled Romaine Salad has been on our summer menu for years. I started grilling romaine years ago, as a way to get my girls to think the salad was a bit more special and therefore needed to be tasted. I’d make my sisters sweet and spicy dressing (which I love!) and then top it with gorgonzola, bleu cheese or feta. When my girls decided they loved goats cheese, I’d sub with goat cheese crumbles. This Grilled Romaine Salad was served with dressing and cheese, or with dressing, sliced summer tomatoes and fresh cucumber with a sprinkling of cheese on top. Sometimes I’d include grilled shrimp and make this a meal or crumbled bacon and make it just a bit more indulgent.
However, I served this grilled romaine salad, it was always a favorite way to enjoy our summer meals.
I adore sharing my recipes that represent not only precious times past but also lovely times present. Food is the element that brings us to the table, where life is lived and memories are made.
Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,
- 2 -3 heads of romaine lettuce, cut in half lengthwise with root end still intact
- salt and pepper
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (1/4 cup for brushing, 1/2 cup for the dressing)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon grated onion
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3-4 ounces bleu cheese, gorgonzola or feta, crumbled (or more if you love cheese)
- Garnish with chopped fresh Italian parsley
Pre-heat the grill to 350F, or heat a grill pan on medium high. Brush the halved romaine hearts with the 1/4 cup olive oil on both sides and then season with salt and pepper.
While the grill is heating, whisk together the garlic, onion, ketchup, mustard, sugar, vinegar, 1/2 cup of olive oil and the water. The dressing should be slightly pink. Add just a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
When the grill is hot place the halved romaine hearts cut side down on the grill.
Let the romaine halves grill for about 1 – 2 minutes and then turn the halves over and grill the other side of the romaine for another 1 – 2 minutes.
I like my romaine hearts just a little wilted with a bit of crisp still left in the romaine. Ranger Craig however, likes his romaine hearts a little more grilled and wilted. Feel free to grill them to your tastes.
Take the romaine off the grill and place on a platter. Sprinkle with crumbled cheese and then drizzle with the vinaigrette. Garnish with fresh chopped Italian parsley. Serve immediately.