For dinner tonight, how about heading outdoors to do a little grilling? It may sound a little unusual, but romaine lettuce can be great on the grill, the fire and slight char on the leaves lending rich depth of flavor.
Try tossing the romaine with a fresh anchovy dressing, toasted walnuts and shaved parmesan, and you can have dinner ready in 30 minutes!
Or try fresh fava beans and cubed pecorino Romano cheese, tossed with a little fruity olive oil, bright lemon juice and chopped parsley. Serve the salad over grilled romaine brushed with garlic olive oil and it makes a perfectly simple dinner in less than an hour.
You can find all three recipes below.
And for more ideas, click through our easy dinner recipes gallery and check out our Dinner Tonight page, devoted to recipes that can be made in an hour or less. Looking for a particular type of recipe? Comment below or email me at email@example.com.
GRILLED ROMAINE WITH WALNUTS, PARMESAN AND ANCHOVY DRESSING
Total time: 30 minutes
4 anchovy fillets
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil
3 teaspoons lemon juice
3 (6-ounce) hearts of romaine
2/3 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano
1. In a mortar and pestle or a blender, purée the anchovy fillets, garlic and salt. Slowly add the olive oil in a stream, stirring or puréeing constantly to make a creamy sauce. Stir in the lemon juice, taste and add more lemon juice or salt if necessary. Set aside.
2. Prepare a wood fire or heat a grill pan over medium-high heat until hot. Split the hearts of romaine in half lengthwise, leaving them attached at the base. Brush both sides of each half with the anchovy sauce and then grill over a wood fire or in a grill pan until the leaves sizzle and begin to look a little frazzled, about 2 minutes on each side. They probably won't brown much.
3. Remove the cooked romaine to individual serving plates, cut-side up. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts and spoon over some more dressing. Use a vegetable peeler to shave Parmigiano-Reggiano in thin sheets over top. Serve immediately.
Each serving: 174 calories; 3 grams protein; 5 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 16 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 5 mg. cholesterol; 1 gram sugar; 117 mg. sodium.
Total time: About 45 minutes
Note: From former Times Test Kitchen director Donna Deane
1 pound fresh fava beans, shelled
2 tablespoons cubed pecorino Romano ( 1/4 -inch cubes)
4 1/2 tablespoons best-quality olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1/8 teaspoon salt
Cracked black pepper
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 small head (about 1/2 pound) romaine lettuce, quartered lengthwise
1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, then add the fava beans and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Break the outer skin of the bean and squeeze the bean out of its skin.
2. In a small bowl, toss the beans with the cubes of pecorino Romano. Stir in 3 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, chopped parsley, salt and cracked black pepper (about 4 grinds). Set aside and allow the beans to marinate while you grill the romaine.
3. In a cup or small bowl, combine the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and the minced garlic. Brush the quartered romaine with the garlic olive oil and place on an oiled grill over medium-high heat until the lettuce is lightly charred on all sides but still crisp in the center, about 4 to 5 minutes.
4. Place a grilled romaine quarter on each of four serving plates. Spoon an equal amount of the fava bean and pecorino mixture over the top of each and season with a few more grinds of black pepper.
Each serving: 271 calories; 12 grams protein; 22 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 18 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 7 mg. cholesterol; 226 mg. sodium.
Note: From Donna Deane
1 teaspoon minced anchovies, from about 2 fillets
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon chopped capers
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
2 heads Treviso radicchio, quartered lengthwise
1 small head romaine, quartered lengthwise
1/4 cup diced red onion ( 1/4 -inch dice)
1/4 cup pitted black olives ( 1/4 -inch dice)
1 hard-cooked egg, peeled and cut into 1/4 -inch dice
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1. In a medium bowl, combine the minced anchovies with the garlic, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and capers. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until emulsified and season with a few grinds of pepper and a pinch of salt, or to taste. Set aside.
2. Heat a grill over medium-high heat. Brush the radicchio and romaine lightly with the remaining olive oil. Grill until lightly charred but still crisp, turning so that all sides are quickly grilled, about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Remove from the grill, and let stand until the radicchio and romaine are cool enough to handle. Cut into 1-inch squares.
3. Toss the chopped romaine and radicchio with the diced onion and olives, then toss with the dressing. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and salt.
4. Mound a quarter of the salad onto each of four plates. Garnish each evenly with the hard-cooked egg and parsley. Serve immediately.
Each serving: 179 calories; 3 grams protein; 7 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 16 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 54 mg. cholesterol; 171 mg. sodium.