Grilled Garden Salad

Did you ever try to grill a Romaine Lettuce wedge? You should! It is the best thing that can happen to your salad. One or two minutes on a hot grill will give your "green queen" grilled marks and deep flavors while keeping the crunch we all crave and love. Treat the scallions the same way. This is how you take your salad to the next level. Try it. You'll love it.

I grow as many different herbs, fruits and vegetables in my backyard as I possibly can considering the "jungle" I live in: Miami's weather and daily animal visitors. To complement my grilled lettuce wedges and homegrown scallions I select few leaves of my garden herbs: mint, oregano and thyme. The herbs will brighten up the salad. Shave the cucumber to make it pretty and the radish to add a little bite to the whole dish. Feta cheese is always welcome. Always! Finish your salad with a generous sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds and "pepitas". The flavors are happy, green, healthy and nutty. The dressing has a secret ingredient... scroll down for more!

I hope you like it.

Bon appétit!


Recipe Credits: Rafaella Sargi
Serves 4 to 6

2 medium-sized romaine lettuce, washed but kept whole
6 scallions
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 small cucumbers, very thinly sliced
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
¼ cup fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 radish, thinly sliced (use a mandoline)
½ cup Feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds (or sunflower seeds)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Dressing Ingredients
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
a pinch of ground coriander

You will need one grill pan, a mandoline, a small plate, a small bowl and a big shallow plate for serving.
Scale and prep all the ingredients.

Cut the romaine lettuce in two, lengthwise. Drizzle the cut sides with extra virgin olive oil.
Heat a grill pan for a few minutes until really hot. Place the halved lettuces cut side on the grill for 2 minutes. You don’t want to cook the lettuce through, you’re just looking for a light sear. Remove from the pan, place on a plate and reserve. While the grill is still hot, drizzle the scallions with extra virgin olive oil and sear them on multiple sides for 1 minute or 2. Remove from the grill and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk all the dressing ingredients. Taste a little bit of the Feta before finalizing the dressing and plan the salt amount accordingly.

Cut the grilled lettuce lengthwise again. You will end up with 8 wedges. Place the lettuce on a big shallow serving platter. Arrange the grilled scallions on top. Add the cucumber and radish slices. Top the vegetables with crumbled Feta, sprinkle with all the fresh herbs, pumpkin seeds and toasted sesame seeds. Drizzle the dressing and serve immediately. 


*Recipe published in Taste & Flavors Magazine. Winter 2015.