Saturday, June 29, 2013

Grilled Romaine, Couscous, and Garlic Salad


I've been eyeing grilled romaine recipes for a couple years, but kept holding off on trying it.  I'm glad I finally took the plunge.  I paired it with couscous because couscous has a short cooking time and I didn't want to add any more heat than necessary to my already sweltering house. And I added gobs of roasted garlic, because there's not much I'd rather have in my mouth than roasted garlic.

The Ingredients:
1 c whole, peeled garlic cloves
6 romaine hearts
2 c uncooked couscous
2 c cooked garbanzo beans
2/3 c pitted calamata olives, finely chopped
1/3 c + 1 t olive oil
1/3 c balsamic vinegar
1 T tarragon
salt to taste

The Process:

  1. Drizzle garlic with 1 t olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt.  Wrap in a square of aluminum foil, and grill, covered, on medium heat (about 375 degrees) for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine remaining olive oil, balsamic vinegar, tarragon, and a pinch of salt to make a vinaigrette. (I like to put it in a mason jar and shake it until it emulsifies.)
  3. Trim the floppy tops (about 1-2 inches) off the romaine hearts and save them for another purpose. Also trim away any brown parts of the stem end, but leave enough stem for the heads to hold together.
  4. Cook couscous according to package directions, and set aside.
  5. Once the garlic has cooked for 20 minutes, check to see if it is completely softened.  If not, cook it a little longer.  As garlic finishes cooking, cook the romaine: brush each head with vinaigrette, raise the heat on the grill to high, and cook (with the lid of the grill open) for a couple minutes per side, until the edges are brown and slightly wilted.
  6. Toss together couscous, garbanzos, olives, garlic, and any leftover vinaigrette.
  7. Slice romaine, and serve the couscous on top of the sliced romaine.

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