Grilled Hearts of Romaine with Cucumber-Orange dressing

 Grilled Hearts of Romaine with Cucumber-Orange Dressing

 This Vinaigrette is great over any salad but in particular we LOVE it over Grilled Hearts of Romaine. Serves nicely over 4 Romaine Heart halves.  Double the recipe if you want to have extra for the next meal. 

Often times we’ll make double the recipe, save the remaining for the next night and then have an easy side dish with little kitchen prep—just grill some romaine hearts and then drizzle the already prepared dressing over it!


Ingredients for Dressing:

2 tsp. Minced Shallots

2 Tbs. Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice

2 Tbs. rice vinegar

1 ½ – 2 tsp. of Agave Nectar (depending on your taste for sweet, it is optional but we recommend)

1 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tbs. Sunflower Oil or Avocado Oil  (If you don’t have either you can do it with more Olive oil but it is much smoother of a taste if you use one of these oils)

½ – ¾ cup diced English Cucumber (we prefer 3/4 cups but some people prefer less!)

½ – 3/4 cup Diced orange (we prefer 3/4 cups but some people prefer less!)

Salt & pepper to taste

Ingredients for Romaine Hearts:

2 Hearts of Romaine

1 TBS Olive oil

1/2 a Lemon (optional)

To make the dressing:

1.    First combine the shallots, orange juice, rice vinegar and allow to sit for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to absorb.

2.    Add Agave nectar to taste, roughly 1 ½ to 2 tsp of agave nectar is ideal (don’t forget the diced Orange will add more sweetness to it).

3.    Add Olive oil and sunflower oil (or avocado oil if no sunflower oil—and if you don’t have either, just use Olive oil for the full 2 Tbs but it is nice to have a combo of two).

4.    Add in diced cucumber and orange .   Salt & Pepper to taste.

To Grill the Hearts of Romaine:

1.  Cut Romaine hearts in half and rinse with water–if possible choose hearts that are firmly holding together, not having pieces falling off. If pieces fall off when cutting in half, set aside and save for another use in another salad.

2.  Allow Romaine Hearts to dry and if necessary use a towel to dab off excess moisture.

3. Brush the romaine hearts with the olive oil-this helps it in not sticking to the grill as much, especially on the side that is cut open.

4. If you have half a lemon squeeze the lemon juice from a half a lemon over the open sides of the romaine hearts.   This is not necessary but we like the extra flavor it gives when it comes off the grill.

5. After you have pulled meat off the grill or during the last few minutes of grilling your main dish, place Romaine Hearts on the grill over medium heat.  Grill approx. 2 minutes per side, depending on the heat of your grill. Just keep a close eye on them, you don’t want them to wilt.   You also want to make sure you do this as the LAST step of making your meal. These are best when they are served immediately and while still warm from coming off the grill.

6. Once grilled, remove from heat and serve each 1/2 on a plate and drizzle with the cucumber-orange dressing.

Recipe serves 4 people as a side.  Can serve as a light main dish for 2 people if you serve with two romaine heart halves.

**To prep for doing this twice in one week as an easy mid-week side just double the dressing recipe–the recipe above is for four Romaine heart halves. It is easy to grill the romaine hearts, only takes a few minutes. The most time consuming part is just making the dressing so we will often double it and serve it on Tuesday and then again on Thursday as a side. **

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