It’s salad week at CKT! So, that means you are going to get three awesome salad recipes with fun & unique flavors/ingredients over the next five days–stay tuned.
First up… grilled romaine! My in-laws were raving about the “best salad ever” at a restaurant in town. I dropped in to check out the menu and luckily there were enough of the salad ingredients listed to pull together the recipe on my own. With a little tweaking here and there I think P & K were pleased with the “at-home” version.
Grilled Romaine w/ crispy pancetta, leeks, & gorgonzola
Inspired by Flour & Wine
Serves 4 (hearty side dish)
2 romaine hearts – cut in half lengthwise keeping the root intact.
olive oil – for brushing
s & p
4 slices of pancetta – finely diced
1 TBS butter
1 leek – trimmed and thinly chopped
1 part olive oil
2 parts balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
spoonful of sugar
good gorgonzola cheese – crumbled (to taste)
Prepare grill. Lightly brush the romaine (cut-side) with olive oil. Season with s & p. Grill cut side down for ~4 minutes or until (just) slightly charred. Remove and set aside.
In a medium sized skillet add the pancetta and cook over medium heat. Cook until crispy ~5-7 minutes (stir occasionally). Once the pancetta is cooked use a slotted spoon to remove it onto a plate with a paper napkin. Reserve 1 TBS of the fat in the pan.
Heat the same pan with the reserved pancetta fat over medium heat and add the leeks and cook until tender ~4 minutes (stir occasionally). Season with s & p. Remove from pan and set aside.
To make the dressing use an old jam jar or tupperware container. Add the balsamic, olive oil, dijon mustard, sugar, and season with salt and pepper. Place lid on tightly and shake until emulsified.
To assemble the salad place the romaine on each individual plate; garnish with pancetta, leeks, gorgonzola, and finally drizzle with the balsamic dressing.