Romaine lettuce isn’t something you typically associate with grilling and that’s a low-down, dirty shame. Grilling hearts of romaine isn’t just easy, it’s otherworldly-delicious. You should try it if you haven’t already. The leaves char a bit, develop a unique flavour and wilt ever so slightly. They undergo a beautiful metamorphosis and turn into the butterfly of the salad world.
Grilled Romaine was actually one of the first things I ever prepared on my YouTube channel. I served them with grilled flank steak and my gaucho sweet-potatoes (both of which will change your life). I typically like to dress the Romaine with a caesar dressing because the big, bold, tangy flavours work really nicely against the sweetness of the lettuce. However, the caesar has some parmesan cheese and many of you are doing a round of Whole30. This time around, I decided to drizzle the grilled Romaine with a Whole30 Ranch dressing. The dressing is a creamy mixture of Whole30 mayo, full-fat coconut milk, some dried herbs and lemon juice. It sounds awful but is really delicious. It’s inspired by the lovely ladies from The Whole Sisters who have a justifiably famous Dump Ranch dressing.
You can either make this Ranch dressing from scratch, which is very easy if you have an immersion blender, or you can try to find some Whole30 compliant mayo such as this one from Primal Kitchen Foods and use that as the base. I’m only realizing now that I don’t have a recipe on my blog for my go-to Paleo Mayo and will have to post it separately.
This makes a great appetizer or side dish for your Memorial Day BBQ. Try serving it with some slices of avocado, tomato and 7-minute eggs for added protein. If you don’t have a grill or live in a condo/apartment, don’t despair. You can ‘grill’ the lettuce in a grill pan. Either way, I think you’re gonna dig this Grilled Romaine Ranch.
Give these recipe a go and let me know what you think in the comments below!
Grilled Romaine with Whole30 Ranch
INGREDIENTS (serves 4 as appetizer):
2 heads Romaine lettuce
1 scant cup avocado oil
1 tsp + 1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Whole30 compliant mustard (preferably dijon)
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
2 tsp dried herbes de provence (substitute dried herbs of choice)
2 tsp dried garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
sea salt to taste
tomato – quartered
avocado – sliced
2 soft-boiled eggs (exactly 7 minutes)
sesame seeds – for garnish
- To a wide-mouth mason jar, add the avocado oil, egg, mustard, 1 tsp lemon juice and vinegar. Plunge an immersion blender to the bottom making sure to trap the egg yolk. Blend on lowest speed without moving the blender. Once the lower half of the jar emulsifies gently tip the blender to one side and continue to incorporate the remaining oil. Stop blending once the mayonnaise is fully emulsified. Over-blending may cause the mayonnaise to break.
- Transfer 1/2 cup of the mayonnaise to a mixing bowl along with the coconut milk, herbes de provence, garlic powder, black pepper, and 1 tbsp lemon juice.
- Stir everything to combine, cover and refrigerate one hour.
- Bring a pot of water to a rapid boil. Gently submerge two eggs and boil for exactly 7 minutes. Transfer eggs to an ice bath and chill for exactly 7 minutes. Peel, cut in half and set aside.
- Keeping the stems intact, cut the romaine hearts in half, lengthwise. Brush the inside with a tiny bit of avocado oil and grill on high heat for 45 seconds per side.
- Transfer grilled romaine to a serving platter, drizzle with Ranch dressing and garnish with avocado, tomato, sesame seeds and 7-minute eggs.