This Grilled Romaine & Charred Corn Salad packs all the smoky flavors of summer grilling into a crunchy, juicy salad. Drizzled in a herby dressing for summertime perfection! Gluten-Free.
There’s something about the summer months that make me crave a fresh, crunchy salad on the regular. I love the typical mix of raw greens + fresh veggies just as much as the next salad fan, but sometimes I like to fire up the grill for a semi-cooked salad that’s smoky, juicy, and still has the perfect amount of crunch. This Grilled Romaine & Charred Corn Salad is just that, using allll of the yummy in-season produce for a flavor combination that screams summer!
INGREDIENTS + INSPIRATION
Say hello to your new favorite summertime salad! Crunchy romaine hearts are grilled to perfection (with grill marks to prove it 😉)—not too limp, not too tough—giving them a delicious smoky flavor, while fresh cobs of corn are dressed, charred, and shaved into sweet, juicy, blackened morsels. Everything gets topped with juicy tomatoes, fresh basil, and buttery pine nuts, then drizzled with a silky-smooth herby dressing. So much yum I can’t even begin!
HOW TO MAKE GRILLED ROMAINE & CHARRED CORN SALAD
If you’ve never made your own grilled romaine, you’re not alone. But don’t worry—it’s super easy and a whole lot less intimidating than it sounds 🙂 Don’t have a grill? No worries! You can use a cast iron griddle or grill pan on the stove and it will come out perfectly, plus, you can still get those precious blackened grill marks! All you need to do for this easy-to-make salad is:
- Preheat the grill to 400-450F. In a bowl or jar, combine the oil, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper and whisk or shake well. Cut off the brown tips of the romaine heads (base still intact) and slice each head in half.
- Brush the shucked cobs of corn with dressing mixture and grill for 5-6 minutes, rotating every few minutes. Brush all of the romaine halves with dressing, place on the grill cut-side down, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Brush the other side, then flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer the grilled romaine to a serving bowl, then shave the corn off the cob and sprinkle on top. Add the tomatoes, basil, and pine nuts, then top with salt & pepper, and serve with dressing on the side.
It would also be great with practically anything potato—Romesco Smashed Potatoes, crispy Oven-Baked Fries, or my favorite Everything Bagel Potato Salad. As with most salads, this dish is best enjoyed fresh and I would not recommend saving any leftovers (but that shouldn’t be a problem 😉)
If you’re looking for more salad inspo to keep the fresh flavors coming all summer long, you’ll also love this Tex-Mex Black Bean Salad, this Rainbow Quinoa Salad with Red Curry Dressing, and this Vegan Taco Salad with Baked Tortilla Strips!
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon (1 to 2 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Black pepper, to taste
- 2–3 heads of romaine lettuce, depending on size
- 1 ear of corn, husked
- 5 ounces (140 g) cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/2 cup of fresh basil, torn
- 1/4 cup (32 g) toasted pine nuts*
- Prep: Preheat the grill to medium-high (400-450F). Add the oil, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper to taste to a small bowl and whisk well (or add to a jar and shake). Cut off the brown tip of the romaine heads, leaving the root intact; then, slice each head in half and cut the loose tips off of the top off as well.
- Grill: Brush the corn well with the dressing, then place on the grill. Grill for 5-6 minutes, rotating the corn every 3 minutes or so. Brush the cut half of each piece of lettuce, sprinkle with salt & pepper, then place on the grill cut-side down. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then brush the other side of the lettuce, flip, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes as well. Continue to cook and rotate the corn as well.
- Assemble: Transfer the romaine to a serving bowl. Cut the corn off of the cob and sprinkle on top of the romaine along with the tomatoes, basil, and pine nuts. Top with salt and pepper if desired, and serve with the additional dressing on the side.
- Toasted Pine Nuts: to toast your pine nuts, add them to a preheated dry pan over medium heat. Stir frequently, until golden brown and fragrant. Remove from the pan and place in a small bowl, to stop them from cooking.
- Substitutions: pine nuts can be replaced with any other nut or seed. Feel free to add crispy tofu or some beans to this salad to make it a complete meal!