Grilled Show Stopper

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Try a new spin on an ol' salad recipe of mine. A great way to impress your guests or just enjoy for a quick mid-week fix. This was one of those recipes I did for my PBS grilling shows that made people scratch their head years ago. I was grilling lettuce before grilling lettuce was considered cool. Here's the how-to on grilling-up a delicious appetizer or side. And, it only takes a few minutes! Top with this dressing.


Grilled Romaine 

Makes four servings | Adapted from Adventures in Grilling, 1996 

2  heads of hearts of romaine lettuce, split in half & washed

4 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

6 cloves caramelized garlic

A pinch of sea salt 

1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 Tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, rough chopped

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Shaved Parmesan cheese

Pre heat grill to high heat.

Cut the romaine heart in half lengthwise, leaving stem end intact. Soak romaine heads in bowl of cold water. Brush with olive oil.

Put romaine halves on hot grill. Cook for about 2 minutes each side, until lettuce begins to blister slightly and lettuce gets a slight char. Turn over and grill for 2 additional minutes.  

Remove and plate cut side up, and top each with remaining olive oil, balsamic, garlic cloves, Parmesan, prosciutto, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve while still warm. Optional: serve with thinly sliced prosciutto.

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Fresh fennel adds a rich benefit of potassium & calcium...


As most of you know from my cookbooks and TV shows, one of my favorite ways to cook is  with simple clean food. What is clean? Basically, food in it's natural state and not over worked with heavy seasoning or sauces. A good example would be my Marathon Salad. Fresh, crisp and seasonal with the first harvest from the farm.  So go ahead and shave some marathon on asparagus and peas for the season's best!


Since the times of ancient Greece, fennel was called marathon. Greek myths tell that knowledge was delivered to man by the gods at Olympus in a fennel stalk. More importantly, in those times fennel was revered by the Greeks and the Romans for its medicinal properties in culinary. Crunchy and slightly sweet - fennel is a highly versatile vegetable that is wonderful when eaten raw, grilled, braised, sauted with other veggies or chopped and used in salads. Like celery, carrots and onions I always keep a bulb or two on hand in my fridge. I also love its distinct anise flavor. It’s great when simply shaved and served as a salad with sliced beets, roasted vegetables arugula, Parmesan, and a light touch of fresh lemon and olive oil.  

START YOUR YEAR OFF RIGHT George Hirsch Living it UP! cookbook contains a 30-day mnu plan for an active healthy life.

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