Grilled Show Stopper

Celebrating Chef George's 24th Anniversary on PBS

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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.

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Grilled Romaine 

Makes four servings 

chefgeorgehirsch.com | 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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Making of a Great Salad

Celebrating Chef George's 24th Anniversary on PBS

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Les Salades Composées

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George's Garden Mesclun Greens

The best salad is not complicated at all, but made with the freshest possible greens and garnishes. Les Salades composées or mixed green salad can be made with from an infinite list, the only consideration is freshness. But you say you bought it fresh. Just because you purchased from the fresh bin at the market does not guarantee the pick date. Consider the source and how far did that head of lettuce travel? 

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George's Garden Sweet and Neat Cherry Tomatoes

Substitute ingredients at will when shopping or picking fresh. 

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George's Garden Snap "Sugar Daddy" Peas

My dad was a Master Gardener, and fresh veggies was always steps away. Here’s inspiration for a salad I prepared today and served from my garden-to-plate in under 5 minutes.

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Chef George's Salad Simples

Salade Simple

Sugar Snap Peas, steam 30 seconds, shock in cold water

Mixed Mesclun Greens

Arugula

Red Kale

Sweet and Neat Cherry Tomatoes

Juice 1/2 lemon

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil 

pinch sea salt + a few sprigs fresh mint leaves

Add lemon juice, olive oil, mint and salt in bowl. Mix well. Add all above ingredients, toss and serve immediately.

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Marathon

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

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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!

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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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