Grilled Romaine Panzanella

Yield: 8 Servings

Ingredients: 

  • 1 medium heart of romaine lettuce, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 of a loaf ciabatta bread, cut in half horizontally
  • 1tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup grape and/or cherry tomatoes
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh basil

Directions:

  1. Brush cut sides of lettuce and bread with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Thread tomatoes onto skewers,* leaving 1/4 inch between each tomato. For a charcoal or gas grill, place lettuce and bread, cut sides down, and tomato skewers on the rack of a covered grill directly over medium heat. Grill for 2 to 4 minutes or until light grill marks appear on lettuce and tomatoes and bread is toasted, removing food from grill as it is done. Coarsely chop lettuce and cut bread into 1-inch pieces. Remove tomatoes from skewers.
  2. For vinaigrette, in a large skillet cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon and drain on paper towels, reserving drippings in skillet. Cut up bacon; set aside. If necessary, add enough of the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the reserved drippings to equal 3 tablespoons. Add onion to the reserved drippings; cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Add vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. Cook about 1 minute more or until reduced slightly, stirring to scrape up crusty browned bits.
  3. In a large bowl combine lettuce, bread, tomatoes, bacon, basil, and cheese. Drizzle with vinaigrette; toss gently to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

From the Test Kitchen
TIP: This recipe can easily be doubled to serve 14 to 16 people.

*TIP: If using wooden skewers, soak in water for at least 30 minutes; drain before using.

Nutrition Facts: 
Per serving: 135 kcal cal., 9 g fat (3 g sat. fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 4 g monounsatured fat), 13 mg chol., 245 mg sodium, 8 g carb., 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 4 g pro. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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