I love grilling, especially in the summer when we can eat the freshly grilled food outdoors. I often make the same easy things when grilling, but sometimes it is nice to change it up a bit. What I love about this dish is that it takes many of the veggies and things I usually grill and eat plain and combines them together to make a new cohesive dish.
What makes this salad a bit unique is that it isn’t simply a salad topped with grilled veggies and meats. Instead every element of this salad is grilled, including the lettuce. It might sound strange but hear me out. Grilled romaine is absolutely delicious, it is one of my favorite things to throw on the grill. The whole head of lettuce is cut in half and grilled, cut side down, just until the bottom blackens and the lettuce softens just a bit. The grilling brings out the natural sweetness in the lettuce making it the perfect foil for the spicy meat and tangy pickled veggies. (Ok, maybe I exaggerated about the salad just a tad. The pickled veggies aren’t grilled, but everything else is, so close enough.)
I like to make this with the fajita spiced chicken I included in this recipe, but any protein makes a great addition. If you aren’t attached to making every part on the grill, this salad is fantastic made with Against All Grain’s Chipotle Barbacoa. I usually make that and the chicken (and grill some steak) and let people pick and choose their toppings. No matter what toppings you choose, it is sure to be delicious.
- Prep Time : 10 minutes
- Cook Time : 30 minutes
- Yield : 6
- Allergens : nightshades
- boneless chicken thighs - 3 pounds
- lime juice - 1/2 cup (4 oz)
- olive oil - 1/2 cup (4 oz)
- chili powder - 1-2 tablespoons
- cumin - 1 teaspoon
- romaine lettuce - 3 heads
- tomatoes - 6 small (not cherry)
- red pepper - 3
- onion - 1
- olive oil - for coating the veggies
- salt - for the veggies
- pickled carrots and cabbage - for serving
Place the chicken, lime juice, olive oil, chili powder, and cumin in a large sealable plastic bag. Mix well and refrigerate for one hour.
Heat the grill to medium high. Cut the romaine in half lengthwise, so the head still holds together and there is one flat side. Rub the flat side with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds and slice the onion into half inch rings. Sprinkle the veggies with oil and sprinkle them with salt. Grill the veggies until lightly charred and cooked through. To grill the lettuce place cut side down on the grill. Remove it when it is lightly blackened and wilted, do not flip it. It will only take a minute or two. For the rest of the veggies grill them a bit longer, 2-3 minutes, then flip and grill the other sides.
Grill the chicken until cooked through, 3-4 minutes per-side.
Cut up the peppers and serve the salad by putting some of each vegetable and the chicken in a bowl. Top with pickled carrots and serve immediately.