Grilled Hearts of Romaine with Creamy Roasted Garlic Dressing

Courtesy of Paul Duncan, chef de cuisine, Tabla. Serves 4-6

May 19, 2009 Published in the July 2006 issue of Portland Monthly

1 whole garlic bulb

1/4 cup lemon juice, plus more to taste

2 tbsp Champagne vinegar

1 egg

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 3 tsp

1/2 cup canola oil

1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus

1 tbsp for garnish

4-6 heads romaine lettuce, outer leaves removed and discarded

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Peel the outer skin of the garlic bulb only, leaving the bulb whole. Place your knife at the tip of the pointed top of the bulb and make a ½-inch-deep cut toward the center; repeat crosswise.

3. Pour ½ tsp olive oil over the top of the bulb and let it sink between the cloves. Wait 2 minutes, then repeat with another ½ tsp olive oil.

4. Place the garlic in a shallow baking dish, cover and bake for about 1 hour or until the cloves are browned at the exposed end and soft throughout. Remove from oven. Allow the roasted garlic to cool, remove cloves from the skin and set aside to cool.

5. Place the roasted garlic in a food processor, then add ¼ cup lemon juice and vinegar and blend to combine. With the processor motor still running, crack the egg and add it whole, then slowly add ½ cup olive oil and the canola oil until the dressing becomes creamy and emulsified. Mix in ¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano and salt and pepper to taste.

6. Dress the romaine hearts with the remaining 2 tsp olive oil, a dash of lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.

7. Over coals that are spread out, evenly heated and not too hot, grill the romaine hearts on all sides until the outer leaves are slightly charred, about 2-3 minutes.

8. Pour half the dressing on a serving platter, and place the whole grilled romaine hearts in the center.

9. Squeeze a little more fresh lemon juice over the hearts, drizzle the rest of the dressing on top and garnish with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and freshly ground pepper.

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