Orange and Blue Grilled Romaine Salad

I know that grilled romaine salads have been around for ages, but I’ve been suspicious of them until recently.  Several weeks ago I went to Bonvenu in Richmond and had the most wonderful grilled romaine salad and I’ve been wanting to make one since then.  Last night a friend of mine hosted a sweatpants mandatory pot luck dinner for a few folks and it was the perfect opportunity to try it out.

Now, I don’t recommend this as a make and take salad.  I prepared everything ahead and grilled the romaine once I got there.  The biggest pain about this is sectioning the oranges.  I’m sure there’s an easier way than the way I did it.  In the future I might just use mandarin oranges out of the can.  Also, I didn’t have any lemon flavored olive oil so I juiced a lemon, added an equal amount of olive oil and mixed it with a stick blender.  Add a little salt and pepper and it makes a good dressing.  Next time I might adjust the proportions to 1/3 lemon juice to 2/3 olive oil just to make it a little more mellow.  I used Gorgonzola cheese instead of the traditional blue because that’s what I had.

This is a nice salad.  It presents beautifully.  It only has a few ingredients so that limits the chopping and the dressing is so simple.  It goes on the “make again” list.

Good? Yes.
Easy? Yes.
Good for company? Yes.
Special shopping? Nope.

Orange and Blue Grilled Romaine Salad

Ingredients

2 romaine hearts, halved lengthwise through the core
Lemon juice and olive oil, combined
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (recommended: Shropshire)
1 navel orange
1/2 small shallot, sliced

Directions

Preheat a grill pan over high heat.

Brush the romaine spears with some lemon oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Put the spears on the grill pan and cook, turning once, until grill marks appear and the lettuce begins to wilt, about 2 minutes total. Immediately remove from the grill to a serving platter and sprinkle each half with about 2 tablespoons of the crumbled blue cheese.

With a sharp knife, cut the peel and pith from the orange. Carefully remove the orange segments by cutting them lengthwise away from the membrane, into a bowl.  Squeezze the lemon juice into a bowl and slowly whisk in 2 tablespoons olive oil until combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, then add the shallots and stir to combine.

Drizzle the citrus vinaigrette and orange sections over the grilled romaine spears and garnish with the remaining blue cheese.

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