No-Grill Grilled Romaine Salad
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 to 3 cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 heart of romaine lettuce, halved lengthwise
vegan Caesar or Italian dressing, to taste
1 small tomato (vine ripe size is great), cut into wedges
1. Heat 1 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Toss in the garlic and sliced mushrooms, and stir those for2 minutes, or until the mushrooms are softened and golden. (You may think your garlic is going to burn, but that's the point, kind-of. To mimic the charred flavor of a grill, the garlic is there to get some black and crispy bits on the bottom of the pan.)
2. Spread the mushrooms out to the sides of the pan to leave room for your romaine halves. Carefully place the halves cut side down in the middle of the pan for about 2 minutes. (The romaine shouldn't heat through, but the backsides should get to room temperature.)
3. Spread salad dressing on the bottom of each plate. Nestle some tomato wedges off to one side, leaving plenty of room for your lettuce.
4. When the backsides (uncut sides facing up) have reached room temperature, transfer the romaine halves to the plate and lay them, cooked side up, on top of the salad dressing. (You should be able to grab the lettuce with your bare hand. You're not trying to cook it, just char the edges and get some nice flavor floating up through the leaves.)
5. Place the mushrooms on top (or off to the side if they fall) of the lettuce, and voila!
Source: This recipe was inspired by a FANTASTIC grilled hearts of romaine salad I had at a fancy restaurant that changed the way I will see Caesar Salad forever.