This is hardly a recipe, but it’s so good and such a staple around here that it’s impossible not to share it with you.
When I lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I lived around the corner from the Wythe Hotel. They had a fabulous restaurant there called Reynards, which served a Grilled Caesar Salad with Poached Egg that I always swore I’d resisting ordering in favor of variety, but never could. It really was spectacular.
This is a less elaborate, lighter version of this salad…. or at the very least was heavily inspired by it. If you haven’t grilled greens, you really ought to. Romaine, Chard, Dandelion – any large leafy green will get a unique treatment from just a few seconds on a grill.
If you don’t have a grill, use a grill pan or even cast iron pan for that matter. It’s that nice char you’re after.
Grilled Faux-Caesar Salad
3 hearts of romaine, halved with core intact
2 cups cherry or roma tomatoes, halved
¼ cup thinly sliced white or red onion
Olive oil, salt, and pepper, for grilling
1 small garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon anchovy paste (found near the canned tuna in the supermarket)
½ fresh lemon, squeezed
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ cup good mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Make the dressing:
In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients but the mayonnaise, until smooth. Add in the mayonnaise and continue to whisk until thick and combined.
Taste, and if desired, add a bit of salt. I often find ¼ teaspoon Is all that is needed if any.
Pre-heat your grill, or pre-heat your grill/cast iron pan.
Rub the romaine hearts with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place the romaine hearts cut side down for 3-4 minutes, or until nicely charred. Turn as needed to cook evenly.
Remove to a large platter, cut side up, and garnish with the tomato and onion.
Spoon the dressing over and finish with more cracked pepper.