Smoky Romaine and Avocado Salad from Stuffed Shells Dinner

To accompany the stuffed shells with eggplant, I wanted a salad appropriate for the end of summer and the beginning of fall. Something hearty for the (hopefully) cooler weather to come, that still let something of the warm evenings linger. I opted for this Smoky Romaine and Avocado Salad from Heather Christo, with a few modifications. First, I grilled the lettuce and the avocados for a late summer cookout touch.  As a bonus, grilling softens up not-so-ripe avocados. I couldn’t find pepitos, so I added croutons instead for some crunch.

Grilling Romaine Lettuce:

  1. Get the grill really hot. Hotter than you think. Even hotter than that. You want to quickly char the outside without wilting the rest.
  2. Spray cooking oil all over the hearts of romaine. Place them on the grill until the outside blackens. Flip and repeat.

Grilling Avocados:

  1. Slice avocados in half and remove the pit.
  2. Spray cooking oil on the flesh of each avocado half. Place flesh-down onto the grill. Let the flesh get good and seared.
  3. Remove skins and dice.

Making the Salad:

Ingredients

  • 3 head Romaine Hearts – Grilled
  • 1 bag butter lettuce
  • 4 avocados – Grilled then cubed
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 Bag Herbed Croutons

Smoky Vinaigrette

  • 3 clove garlic
  • 1 ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons agave
  • 9 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 9 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Roughly chop the grilled lettuce.
  2. Toss lettuces, avocado, and shallots together in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk the Smoky Vinaigrette together in a small bowl and then drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad.
  4. Sprinkle croutons over the top of the salad. Serve immediately.

Serves: 8-10

(adapted from http://heatherchristo.com/2015/03/03/smoky-romaine-and-avocado-salad/ website)