Grilled Caesar Salad with Pomegranate and Avocado
I love pomegranates and will use any excuse to make something with them. I am happy to see their abundant arrival for Tu b’Shevat, the New Year for trees. I crack them open and pop out the seeds in a large bowl of water with a strainer in it. I lift the strainer out with all the seeds and avoid the colorful mess. They add a punch of color and taste to any dish and are a special treat in this salad. I was surprised at how grilling a head of romaine lettuce for a couple of minutes could transform a routine salad into a gourmet treat. This very simple salad recipe makes a delicious salad that is both light and satisfying and a great opener for a Tu b’Shevat Seder. The dressing is optional as the salad is very flavorful right off the grill.
- 2 stalks of romaine lettuce hearts
- Olive oil
- Pinch of sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Garlic powder (optional)
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 pomegranate, seeded
- Shaved or grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Dressing (optional)
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- 1 clove fresh garlic, finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Turn a gas grill on to the highest temperature or light up a charcoal grill. Cut the romaine heart in half lengthwise, keeping the stem of the stalk attached. Rinse stalks, drain and dry with a paper towel. Brush olive oil lightly all over the cut edge of the lettuce. Sprinkle salt and pepper and garlic powder (optional) over the oiled area.
- Place the lettuce stalks on a very hot grill with the cut and seasoned side down. Grill for about 1 or 2 minutes, uncovered, until slightly charred grill lines show on the cut side of the lettuce. The stalk should remain intact. Remove from the grill and place grilled side up on individual plates. Garnish with avocado, pomegranate seeds and Parmesan if desired. Other garnishes or vegetables can be added as desired. This salad can also be served family style; cut the stalks diagonally into 1-inch strips and arrange on a large platter.
- The dressing is optional because this salad is delicious straight off the grill with just the olive oil and seasonings. If you just have to have some dressing, blend all ingredients thoroughly, adjusting seasoning to taste. Serve on the side.