You Should Start Grilling Your Salads. Here's Why

Lettuce isn't necessarily something you might think of adding heat to when cooking with it. As Delish points out, when you're used to consuming your leafy greens in the form of a salad, you might not imagine wanting them any other way than fresh and cool. People even devote lots of attention to what kind of lettuce goes on their burgers, so they don't end up with warm, limp greens on their beef patty (via Foods Guy). So, it may surprise you to hear about a hack that could be a serious game-changer for your summer barbecue routine.

Grill your lettuce, says "Chef John" Mitzewich on his blog Food Wishes. Chef John also frequently contributes to All Recipes, where he further explained three major reasons you'll want to try firing up those greens: The process adds a caramelized, smoky flavor; the texture contrasts beautifully with the lettuce's cool and crunchy interior; and this preparation is irresistibly easy. In a snap, you'll have a restaurant-worthy dish. Delish even lists a whole bunch of mouthwatering recipes that are totally re-energized by grilled lettuce, from a grilled romaine Caesar salad to grilled endive with peanut sauce

Here's how to grill lettuce properly

So, how do you get perfectly grilled lettuce?

"This is truly and ridiculously easy," Chef John tells All Recipes, adding that the trick is getting the grates super hot. He also says you can do this with grill pans on your stove if you don't have an actual grill. Simply cut romaine lettuce hearts in half, brush them with olive oil, and place them cut-side down on the grill or grill pans for two minutes. That's the right amount of time for a caramelized outside, crisp inside, and no sogginess. As soon as the leafy greens come off the heat, Chef John recommends adding cheese, like pecorino or Parmesan. Then top it off with a dash of vinegar, like sherry or balsamic, and add some more olive oil.

Romaine is a good choice because the thick heart stalks can stand up to the heat, says The Spruce Eats. If not romaine, you'll want to stick to heartier varieties, writes Delish. Endive and escarole will also soak up that smoky flavor without going limp. From there, the possibilities are endless. Add any kind of fruits, vegetables, and cheeses, and you've instantly got a more complex and interesting salad.