Have you ever made a grilled salad? You may think of salad as a cold food, but you’ll want to keep an open mind for this sweet, savory, smoky salad that’s just as refreshing as a cool, crisp salad on a hot day.
Hearts of romaine hold up well to the grill and develop a smoky wilt that balances out sweet grilled fruits and a tangy homemade balsamic dressing. This grilled romaine salad makes an excellent side dish that will become the star of any backyard barbecue.
To make it a main dish, grill your favorite chicken, steak, salmon or shrimp to top it with. Feel free to play around with the toppings to fit your diet or preferences. If you don’t have access to a grill, you can “grill” the lettuce, stone fruit and peppers on a hot cast iron grill pan on your stovetop.
Here’s how to make it.
- 3 heads romaine hearts
- 2 peaches, plums or nectarines
- 1/4 lb. baby bell peppers
- 1/2 thinly sliced red onion
- 1/4 lb. halved cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup blackberries
- 1/2 cup halved strawberries
- 2 oz. crumbled goat cheese
- 2 tbsp. thinly sliced basil
- avocado oil 
Slice your stone fruit in half or in slices. Carefully cut the romaine hearts vertically down the middle so you have 6 romaine halves. Make sure to keep the core intact. Toss the fruit, peppers, and romaine in avocado oil.
Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Once hot, place the fruit and peppers on. Allow them to grill for a minute or so on each side before turning or flipping them. Continue until they have slightly softened and are grilled to your liking.
Place the romaine halves on the grill cut side down. Grill for a couple of minutes and then flip them over. They are finished when they wilt just a little and have a bit of char on them.
To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil, mustard, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Arrange the romaine on a large platter or on individual plates. Stack the grilled fruit, peppers, fruit, onions and goat cheese on top. Sprinkle on the shredded basil and spoon on the dressing.