There are several fancy salad places where we live. You get to pick your greens, any combination of toppings and then they toss everything in a giant stainless steel bowl before it gets served to you. I love it because you get to have a salad made to your specifications and every bite is perfectly dressed.
This grilled salad is a similar concept, but with the heat turned up (literally!). Grilling the romaine lettuce might sound a little strange, but only the outside gets a little charred, leaving the inner leaves nice and crisp. The marinated chicken is full of flavor– sweet from the brown sugar, savory from the Worcestershire and tart from the lime juice. The crisp-tender grilled veggies add bulk and flavor as well.
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
6 tablespoons canola oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds), butterflied
1 large red onion, sliced into 1/2-inch thick slices, rings not separated
2 large bell peppers, stemmed, quartered and seeded
2 heads romaine hearts, halved lengthwise
for the dressing:
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a medium bowl, whisk together the lime juice, 4 tablespoons of the canola oil, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, cilantro, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Reserve 1/3 cup of the marinade for brushing the vegetables; set aside. Place the chicken breast halves in the bowl with the marinade, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Brush both sides of the onion rounds, peppers and the romaine hearts with the reserved marinade (or if you forget to reserve some, then just brush with olive oil and salt). For a gas grill, light all burners to high, cover and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave one burner on high and turn the rest down to medium. Remove the chicken breast halves from the marinade and transfer to the hotter side of the grill; discard the left over marinade. Place the onion rounds and peppers on the cooler side of the grill. Cook the chicken until it is well browned, 3-4 minutes. Using tongs, flip the chicken and continue grilling until it is no longer pink inside (or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reads 160˚ F.) Cook the onions and peppers until spottily charred and crisp-tender, about 8-12 minutes, turning once or twice as needed. When the chicken and vegetables are done, transfer them to a large plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Add the romaine to the grill and cook, turning once, until both sides are lightly charred, about 2 minutes total. Meanwhile, make the dressing by combining all of the ingredients in measuring cup, whisking until incorporated. Chop the chicken, peppers, onions, and romaine hearts and toss in a large bowl with a light (or heavy) drizzle of dressing. Divide between serving dishes and enjoy.