If you’ve never tried grilling romaine, you HAVE to. Brush it with a little olive oil, and grill it for three minutes cut-side down. It adds such a delicious smoky flavor to the salad, and makes the lettuce a little more tender and soft. I can’t get enough!
The other game changing component to this salad is the GARLIC BUTTER croutons. Give me anything and everything garlic butter and I’m a happy girl. So simple, but so good.
The other wonderful thing about these croutons is that they’re made on the stovetop instead of the oven, so you are minutes away from garlicky, crunchy crouton goodness! I used to make them in the oven all the time, but I’m making them on the stove from now on. Because I’m impatient when it comes to food. Anyone else?
This dressing was inspired by my recent trip to upstate New York. I had a salad at the Italian restaurant that I mentioned in my last post, Fiorella, that had this INSANELY good creamy lemon vinaigrette. It was the perfect balance of richness, lemon, and cheese. Because every good salad and salad dressing is made better with cheese! I think that their version may have been made with egg yolks like a caesar would be, but I decided to use one of my favorite healthy swaps – Greek yogurt! I use it in SO many of my recipes in place of mayo or anything creamy. I love it!
I seriously COULD NOT stop eating this dressing. I kept dipping croutons in it and just eating it straight up. It’s that good.
If you’re intimidated by grilling romaine, don’t be. It’s seriously the easiest thing EVER. Just cut the heads in half lengthwise, heat up a grill or grill pan, brush them with olive oil, and grill for three minutes! Then season with a little salt and pepper and voila. Grilled romaine that will make your salads super special and delicious!
To add extra crunch factor to this salad, I added beautiful grape tomatoes, sliced radishes, and carrot ribbons. For the carrot ribbons, you literally just shave them with a vegetable peeler. Totally worth it for the prettiness factor.
If you want to add protein to this salad, go for it. It would be delicious with some lemony grilled salmon or even some grilled steak! Or chicken or shrimp!
I’m starting to get away from grilling and transition into more fall foods. This is a perfect salad to bridge from summer to fall. It’s still summery because of the grill flavor and tomatoes, but it’s sort of fall-ish too because it’s a little warm, and the creamy lemon dressing just feels cozier. If dressings can be considered cozy…?
This is also perfect for Meatless Monday!
- For the CROUTONS:
- 2 cups cubed bread (I used a crusty baguette)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- For the DRESSING:
- ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt (I used 0%)
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- zest of 1 lemon
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- For the SALAD:
- 2 heads romaine lettuce
- olive oil for brushing (a couple tablespoons)
- 4-5 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, shaved into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
- ½ cup grape tomatoes, halved
- parmesan cheese for serving
- Make the croutons. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute or until fragrant. Remove the garlic from the pan with a spoon and discard (it will burn if you don't). Add the bread cubes to the pan, and toss to coat in the butter. Toast the bread in the butter for 4-5 minutes, tossing frequently, until the croutons are golden and crunchy. Set aside to cool.
- Next, make the dressing. Add the Greek yogurt, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, parmesan, salt, and pepper to a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
- Heat a grill or grill pan to medium high-heat. Cut your heads of romaine in half, lengthwise. Brush with olive oil. Grill for 3 minutes, cut side down, or until grill marks appear. Season with a little salt and pepper while they're still hot.
- To serve, top the grilled romaine with sliced radishes, carrot ribbons, grape tomatoes, the croutons, and dressing. Serve with extra parmesan cheese!