By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal
I got an email from my husband one day last month. In the subject line were the words “we’re doing this” and in the body of the email was a link to a recipe for a salad with grilled Romaine lettuce and barbecued bacon.
I was immediately intrigued, but knew we’d have to wait and make this dish on a night when neither of our kids were home because a) son Patrick doesn’t like blue cheese and b) daughter Mary doesn’t eat pork.
Charlie and I finally got a chance to try this one night last week and it was wonderful. Because it was just the two of us, we each had two Romaine heart halves and divided the goodies between us, but that really was too much.
This is a very rich salad, even with the lowfat yogurt-based blue cheese dressing, which was delicious in its own right. You’ll find it in the produce department near the bagged salads.
Grilled Romaine and BBQ Bacon Salad
6 slices bacon
1⁄3 cup barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 half-inch thick slices red onion, threaded on skewer lollipop-style
Salt and pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil
2 hearts of Romaine lettuce, halved
1⁄2 cup yogurt blue cheese dressing
4 tablespoons crumbled Blue Cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place bacon on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Combine barbecue sauce and brown sugar and mix well. Baste bacon evenly and thoroughly with sauce. Cook bacon 16 to 17 minutes in the oven, watching carefully.
Remove from oven. Turn bacon over and baste with remaining barbecue sauce. Return to oven. Cook 17 to 20 minutes until bacon is a deep brown color, watching carefully to keep from burning. Transfer bacon to clean parchment paper; let drain and cool, then crumble in large pieces.
Meanwhile, preheat grill on medium-high heat for 10 minutes.
Season both sides of onion with salt and pepper; brush lightly with oil. Grill onion, cover closed, about 5 minutes. Turn over, brush with oil, and grill 5 to 7 minutes or until tender.
Slice romaine hearts in half; drizzle with oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place romaine on grill and cook about 30 seconds on each side, just long enough to slightly mark and warm through.
Transfer Romaine hearts to 4 plates and drizzle each with 2 tablespoons of dressing. Top each salad with onions, crumbled bacon and 1 tablespoon blue cheese.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.