Can we all agree that pretty much everything tastes better after it’s spent some time on the grill?  I have to tell you, even salad is no exception……that’s right, lettuce and all.  It tastes fantastic after you put it on the grill and get a little bit of char on it.  Everything in the salad has an amazing smoky, grilled flavor and everyone will end up eating lots of veggies because they can’t help themselves!

This salad is actually very flexible, you can add whatever veggies you like.  You do need to make sure you use a hearty lettuce, though.  Romaine hearts work really well because they won’t fall apart while you’re grilling them.  You can also use whatever dressing you like.  My recipe is for a vinaigrette, but a creamy dressing like ranch would be delicious as well.  I like to add some crumbled bacon because it just further enhances that wonderful smoky flavor, but again, you can do what you like.

This recipe is really more about the method than the ingredients, so go ahead, get creative and use your favorite salad ingredients.  I’d love to hear about any variations that you come up with!

Grilled Chopped Salad

  • 3 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 package of romaine hearts (3 count), cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into quarters lengthwise
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1 roma tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil plus 2 tbsp, divided
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated or very finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles

Preheat grill to medium high heat.

Cook bacon in a small saute pan until crispy.  Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.

Brush romaine, red pepper and onion with olive oil.

Put the onions on the grill first, followed by the red pepper and finally the romaine.

The romaine will only need a couple of minutes per side, at most.  The onions and peppers will need a few minutes longer, but you don’t want to over cook them.  You still want them to have a little bit of crunch.

Watch romaine closely and as soon as it starts to char, turn it over and give it a minute or two to char on the other side.

Do the same with the pepper and onion, turning as it starts to char.

Remove veggies from grill and let sit until they’re cool enough to handle.

Chop everything into bite size pieces.

To make dressing, whisk together garlic, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.

Slowly whisk in remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil until well combined.

Assemble salad by combining romaine, peppers, onions and tomatoes in a large salad bowl.

Drizzle dressing over the top and toss until everything is well coated.

Top with bacon pieces and blue cheese crumbles.


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