Gluten Free Grilled Lettuce Salad Recipe

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by Carol Kicinski on April 4, 2008

I like to re-think old classics. Take the iceberg lettuce wedge. This is one classic that has made quite the comeback. Icy cold wedges of lettuce topped with creamy blue cheese dressing. Nothing wrong with that except that iceberg lettuce has pretty much no nutritional value (or flavor) and blue cheese is a problem for us gluten intolerant people.

So instead of ice-cold, tasteless lettuce with goopy, gluten injected dressing how about grilled romaine and endive wedges with balsamic syrup and olive oil topped with a crumbling of goat cheese?

If you have never grilled lettuce you are in for a treat. The grilling brings a little sweetness to lettuces that are normally bitter such as radicchio and Belgium endive.

This is a great side dish for a barbeque and wonderful for entertaining as it can sit. Paired with my eggplant lasagna this makes a super easy dinner for a casual party.

To make this salad I use my favorite cooking vessel – my grill pan. But you can just as easily do this on the grill or even a skillet. You’ll get all that yummy flavor just not those pretty grill marks.

If you are making this salad on a barbeque then cut the onions in quarters for grilling and slice thinner after they are done – otherwise they will fall through the grill.

I could not get my hands on any radicchio this time but I usually add it as it adds a nice splash of color. If you have some just treat as you do the other lettuces.

The goat cheese is optional so if you don’t do dairy, no worries – leave it out.

Gluten Free Grilled Lettuce Salad Recipe

Ingredients

½ cup balsamic vinegar
2 heads Romaine lettuce hearts washed and completely dried
2 heads white Belgium endive
1 onion
Olive oil
Kosher or Sea Salt
Coarsely ground pepper
4 ounces goat cheese – crumbled

Directions

Make balsamic syrup by pouring the balsamic vinegar into a small heavy sauce pan and boil over high heat until thick and syrupy and reduced by about half – about 10 minutes.

Heat a grill pan or barbeque to medium high heat.

Leaving the bottoms attached cut the Romaine lettuce hearts and Belgium endives into quarters vertically. Cut the onion in half vertically. Cut each half into 6 vertical slices.

Brush lettuce and endive quarters with olive oil. Toss onion slices with olive oil.

Grill lettuce quarters about 1 – 2 minutes on each side. You want them to start to brown but not get too soft. Remove to a platter. Do the same with the endive but depending on their size this make take a minute or two longer on each side. Add to platter with the romaine.

Grill onion slices until browned and soft – about 5 minutes. Scatter over the lettuce and endive quarters.

Drizzle the balsamic syrup over the lettuce, endive and onions. Drizzle on some olive oil, season with salt and pepper and add the crumbled goat cheese.

Servings

This Gluten Free Recipe Serves 6 – 8 People.

Ready for dessert?

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Categories:    Salads & Dressings
  • Peter G

    Gorgeous salad Carol…the caramelised flavours are just divine when done like this.

  • Nick

    I didn’t know you could grill lettuce. I mean I guess I knew it was possible just not normal. Sounds real interesting, I’d love to see a picture of it! Maybe I’ll just go try it for myself. Interesting recipe.

    - The Peanut Butter Boy

  • Chef Erik

    WWWWWWWWWOOOOOHHHOOOOOOO!!!!!!
    This salad looks so nice. I saw a grilled lettuce recipe in one of my cookbooks but never tried it. I’ve grilles escarole but never lettuce. Can’t get enough goat cheese, yummy. Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day, much appreciated :)

  • Helen

    I totally agree with you about the iceberg, the only thing it is good for is adding texture – not flavour or nutritional value. I love grilling lettuce, it just comes alive! Your version looks delicious.

  • White On Rice Couple

    Gosh this looks good!!!! We’ll have to make this for Bourdain when he comes to dinner! (still keeping our fingers crossed).
    I had to check out your eggplant lasagna again. I love it!

  • Jessy and her dog Winnie

    That looks delicious, and impressive!

  • Sheltie Girl

    This does look delicious! I have been dying to get the grill going again.

    Sheltie Girl @ Gluten A Go Go

  • Carrie

    Yum!!! romaine is my favorite! We have GOT to get a gas grill for quick grilling!! Gotta try this Carol!!

  • Aran

    that balsamic syrup can make anything taste better! gorgeous!

  • Pixie

    This really sounds lovely, I’ll certainly have to try it for myself.

  • Nina’s Kitchen (Nina Timm)

    I cannot remember when last Have I craved grilled veggies at 11pm ….looks delicious and healthy.

  • dapotato

    beautiful food and photos! i will definitely be passing your blog along to my friends with gluten allergies and/or celiac disease. yum.

  • Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    Delicious! I love grilled radicchio, so I’m guessing I will love this, too.

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