Several years ago while dining at Mama’s On The Half Shell in the Canton Square area of Baltimore, a friend insisted that I try the Grilled Romaine with Lump Crabmeat Salad. At the time I couldn’t really conceive of cooked lettuce. This particular friend doesn’t take “No, thanks” or even “Hell No!” for an answer, so I changed the dressing from Caesar (not a fan unless I make it myself and reduce the garlic by a lot) and ordered it. It was love at first bite, and although it’s been several years since I had “Mama’s” version, I have taken to making my own. I’m hoping that you will be inspired to do the same because like with most salads, really anything goes. Yes, it’s Intuitive Cooking time again. I am going to give you my recipe, sort of, because I don’t really follow one, and urge you to get creative and build your own.
The foundation, dare I say “Super Star” here is the Grilled Romaine Lettuce, but what you also see on the plate is “Bread and Butter Zucchini Pickles,” a recipe my mom gave me that she found in last month’s (August 2014) Food and Wine magazine. I am in love with this use of zucchini perhaps especially because the zucchini came straight from this basket of produce which came straight from my parents’ Pennsylvania home garden. The fact that the recipe includes Turmeric – a fabulous anti-inflammatory- is a bonus. Just between you and me, I cut the amount of sugar in this recipe in half. Result? Still delicious.
GRILLED ROMAINE with LUMP CRABMEAT SALAD
1 head Romaine lettuce. (Slice in half lengthwise, gently wash and pat dry with a paper towel)
4-6 ounces Jumbo lump crabmeat
2-4 tablespoons Olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Green onions (scallions), chopped
1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced
1 Hard boiled egg, cut in half lengthwise (optional)
4 T. Vinaigrette salad dressing of your choice (I whisked 4 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice into 4 T. Whole Foods Mediterranean vinaigrette)
Preheat grill to medium-high.
After cutting the head of Romaine lengthwise, brush each side with olive oil. Grill 4 – 5 minutes total, turning occasionally. Place each half on a plate and lightly drizzle 1 T. vinaigrette of your choice over each half. While lettuce is still warm, sprinkle parmesan cheese over each half. Gently spoon 1/2 of the crabmeat over one, half of Romaine, the other half over the other. Add the sliced cherry (or grape) tomatoes and sprinkle the chopped scallions. Drizzle another 1-2 T. vinaigrette over each. Cut each hard boiled egg half again length wise and add to plate. Arrange zucchini pickles on the other half of the plate.
Attention hardcore Italian food purists: I know full well that technically you’re never supposed to put cheese on seafood. To that I say “whatevs.” 🙂