Grilled Romaine Salad with Caramelized Shallot Vinaigrette

A fun twist on your everyday salad: grilled romaine salad with caramelized shallot vinaigrette. Inspired by the flavors that typically accompany a grilled steak, this salad is definitely on the indulgent side. Smoky grilled romaine, fresh arugula, crispy bacon, tangy blue cheese, pan-fried pecans, and a sweet shallot vinaigrette. It’s a bold salad that is perfect for a special occasion.

Grilled Romaine Salad with Caramelized Shallot Vinaigrette

Salads are always a lot of fun to play around with and see what you create. Lettuce is the perfect vehicle to add absolutely whatever you want to it. I usually keep salads light, adding lots of fresh vegetables, herbs, and maybe some sort of protein.

I took a slightly different approach when coming up with this grilled romaine salad, making it as indulgent as possible. And trust me, it’s one you don’t want to miss. You can serve it along a simple meal or maybe save it for a summer holiday.

Grilled Romaine Salad with Caramelized Shallot Vinaigrette

grilled romaine salad – the details

The base of this salad is the grilled romaine. You’ll take crunchy romaine hearts and give them a quick char on the grill. Just enough to add some smoky flavor, wilt the leaves ever so slightly, and add a big depth of flavor to the salad. This is such a fun way to change things up and make this salad uniquely rich.

For the dressing, shallots are caramelized in bacon drippings & olive oil until deeply golden. The bacon flavor carries through the vinaigrette really well, with vinegar, dijon, and honey balancing it out. The finishing touches: lots of crumbled crispy bacon, creamy blue cheese, and toasted pecans (I like to toast these right in the hot bacon fat as well with a pinch of salt for the best possible flavor).

It’s an unbelievably delicious and addicting combination of flavors. And while it’s not your typical fresh and healthy salad, it’s one to indulge on. I’ll be making it alongside some garlicky grilled chicken this fourth of july!

Looking for more summer salad recipes? Here are a few of my favorites…

Spicy Shrimp Salad with Jalapeño Lime Vinaigrette
Grilled Chicken Salad with Cornichon Dressing
Simple Bean Salad with Parmesan Vinaigrette

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Grilled Romaine Salad with Caramelized Shallot Vinaigrette

Grilled Romaine Salad with Caramelized Shallot Vinaigrette

a unique grilled romaine salad with bacon, blue cheese, pan-fried pecans, and a sweet caramelized shallot vinaigrette 

servings: 4-6

Ingredients

Scale
  • ½ lb raw sliced bacon
  • 4 oz halved pecans 
  • kosher salt
  • olive oil
  • 4 shallots, thinly sliced 
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp honey 
  • ½ cup neutral-flavored oil 
  • freshly cracked black pepper 
  • 1 lb romaine hearts, roots trimmed + discarded 
  • 2 oz arugula 
  • 4 oz blue cheese, crumbled

Instructions

  1. Lay the bacon evenly in a 12” skillet over medium-low heat. Cook until rendered and crisp, about 30 minutes total, flipping halfway through. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and let cool. 
  2. Raise the heat to medium and add the pecans. Toast until golden brown and fragrant, stirring often so they don’t burn. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pecans to another plate lined with paper towels. Immediately sprinkle with a good pinch of salt. 
  3. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the skillet, along with the shallots. Saute the shallots for about 6 minutes until caramelized, stirring often. Stir in the red wine vinegar, mustard, and honey. Bring to a simmer and cook for a minute or so. Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly. 
  4. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking continuously to emulsify. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Set aside. 
  5. Meanwhile, heat the grill over high heat. Coat the romaine lettuce with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Place the romaine onto the grill and cook for just a minute, or until slightly charred and wilted (the leaves should still hold a crunch). 
  6. Toss the arugula with ½ of the vinaigrette. Arrange it onto a large platter. Add the grilled romaine over top. Crumble the bacon and sprinkle it onto the salad, along with the pecans and blue cheese. Spoon more of the vinaigrette over top.

shop the dish: grilled romaine salad with caramelized shallot vinaigrette

Grilled Romaine Salad with Caramelized Shallot Vinaigrette

If you make this grilled romaine salad with caramelized shallot vinaigrette, be sure to leave a comment & let me know what you think!

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