Grilled romaine

Grilled romaine and charred leek salad by Clare Johnson

Our Fall Salon, hosted in The Guest Room at Antique Taco, was themed around "Burnouts & Boundaries" which inspired charred, grilled and toasted dishes. 

Forth Chicago-Fall Salon 2015-Antique Taco

This grilled romaine salad - made by Forth Founder, Kelly Allison - is fast, beautiful and delicious and it can be created based on the flavor preferences of you and your guests. Top the salad with a buttermilk dressing (we love Martha Stewart's!) and you'll have yourself a delightful dinner party favorite. 

Forth Chicago-Fall Salon 2015-Antique Taco

Buttermilk dressing (from Martha Stewart):

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley


  • 1 head of romaine
  • 1 leek stalk
  • 1 radish bunch (for pickling)
  • 2 shallots (for pickling)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Olive oil and unsalted butter

Slice the romaine into quarters and toss lightly with olive oil. Quickly sear the romaine on a hot grill (or hot grill pan) to get the smoky flavor and char.

Next, slice the leeks into strips. Heat butter, olive oil and garlic in a hot pan and give the leeks a quick fry. Place the leeks on a paper towel and allow them to cool for a minute before placing them on the grilled romaine.

Now for the toppings! Dress the salad with your favorite pickled vegetables - store bought or homemade. We're a fan of pickled radishes and shallots for our burnout salad. If you want to pickle your own vegetables, mix red wine vinegar, salt and sugar together in an airtight container. Thinly slice the shallots and radishes and soak them in the pickling juice for one hour to one day in advance. 

Lastly, whisk together the dressing ingredients - first the olive oil and lemon juice, then the buttermilk and parsley - and lightly dress the salad. We recommend doing this right before serving to keep it fresh. Give the whole salad a quick sprinkle of fresh cracked pepper and you're ready to serve.

Stay tuned for more savory dishes from our fall salon - coming soon!