4 Romaine lettuce hearts (or inner leaves if you prefer)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup diced shallots
1/2 cup diced fresh garlic
salt and pepper
1 package herbed polenta log
1 cup balsamic vinegar
for Caesar Salad Dressing: (or use a bottle of your favorite Caesar Dressing)
2 large eggs yolks at room temperature
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
6 to 8 anchovy fillets, minced (I use Smoked Anchovy Fillets from Cantabria from LaTienda)
2 Tablespoons chopped garlic
4 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups olive oil
2 Tablespoons warm water, if needed
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or to taste (the cheese makes the texture thicker as well)
Cut the Romaine Heads in half lengthwise, drizzle olive oil over the inside and outside, spread shallots, garlic, salt and pepper over the inside of heads. Reserve for later.
Slice into 1/4-inch slices and spray with non-stick spray.
Grill 5-8 minutes on each side to ensure even grill marks.
For Balsamic Reduction:
Place quality balsamic vinegar in pan over medium heat until it reduces into a syrup, cool and reserve.
For Caesar Dressing:
Place the egg yolks, mustard, anchovies, garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce into a salad bowl.
Blend with whisk and then add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream until it is fully incorporated.
If the dressing stops gets too thick, add the warm water and then continue until all the oil is added.
Add the cheese and continue to blend.
*note this does not store well. I use it as needed and then usually take the leftover dressing, throw some chicken or shrimp in it, marinate it for a bit and grill it. It's a great marinade.
For Final Plating:
Take the romaine heads and grill over high heat on both sides for 2-3 minutes or until just beginning to wilt, you want to almost sear them and as soon as you see grill marks, remove.
I like the presentation with them seved whole, but you can also chop them up.
Top lightly with dressing.
Cut the polenta circles in to half moons and arrange across the front of the salad, and drizzle the polenta cakes with the balsamic reduction.