This salad is really the inspiration behind this whole meal in my Summer Grill Out Series. We have a local restaurant that serves a salad very similar to this and I get it every single time I go, which says a lot since I usually prefer to vary up my menu selections. The concept of grilling your salad is a complete game changer because it adds a smoky charred flavor that makes it something special. This particular salad also comes loaded with fried leeks and crispy prosciutto, which pack a pretty hefty punch in the flavor department themselves. While this salad requires a bit more effort than your regular old garden variety salad (shameless pun), I can assure you it is totally worth it. And, may I suggest making extra leeks and prosciutto so you can enjoy the deliciousness multiple nights in a row. In the case of this salad, there is no such thing as too much of a good thing.
Grilled Romaine Salad (serves 4)
2 heads of romaine, halved
4 oz prosciutto
2 oz crumbled gorgonzola cheese
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 leeks, cleaned, halved and sliced in half moon shape
oil for frying
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar
1 clove minced garlic
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 tsp Herbs de Provence
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay prosciutto out on a baking sheet and bake until it begins to shrivel around the edges and get crispy (about 10-15 min). Meanwhile, fill a pan with about 1 inch of frying oil (I like grape seed) until oil looks shiny and ripples across the top. You can test the readiness by dropping a few leeks into the oil. Once the oil is ready, fry the leeks in small batches for just about a minute and fish out with a slotted spoon. Place the fried leeks on a paper towel to absorb excess grease.
Thoroughly mix all ingredients of the vinaigrette and set aside. Brush romaine halves with oil and place on a hot grill for 2-3 minutes or until slightly charred. Serve while still warm, topped with leeks, tomatoes, cheese and prosciutto. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and enjoy.