A: I needed another vegetarian munchy for game night, and
B: I had all the ingredients on hand, and finally
C: BONUS! Salad or appetizer, this is a dish that needs to be made well ahead, and then served at room temperature.
Who knew romaine would stand up so well to a warm and spicy dressing marinade? Just slightly wilted, and nice and smoky tasting, with the heat from the red pepper flakes coming along almost as an afterthought; this isn’t your parents’ Caesar Salad Romaine!
•1 heart of romaine
•1 tsp chopped garlic
•1/2 tsp grated peeled ginger
•1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
•1 tbsp Asian sesame oil
•1 tbsp soy sauce – I used reduced sodium
•2 tsp water
•1 tsp sesame seeds
Combine the garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, sesame oil, soy sauce and water in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and simmer for about a minute. Set aside.
Cut romaine crosswise into 2-inch pieces and put in a bowl. Pour the warm dressing over and toss to coat.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds and marinate, stirring every so often, for at least 30 minutes. The original recipe from Lillian Chou and Gourmet Magazine says you can make this a day ahead and stash it in the fridge, then bring it to room temperature to serve. I made mine around noon and set it one the counter for the afternoon – all was good.
This ended up tasting somewhat like my kimchi recipe, but there was no mention of fish sauce, so I was good to go with my goal to have another vegetarian dish. Rich and I have also been chatting about stuff to try on the Weber once the weather warms up, and grilled romaine is on the top of our list. I think a warm drizzle of this dressing over slightly charred hunks of lettuce could be a VERY good thing! Stay tuned…