Why You Should Eat Grilled Romaine Right After It's Cooked

When grilling season hits, there is nothing better than throwing some protein and veggies on the grill. They just taste better when they get a nice crust or char on them. While 65% of the respondents in a 2021 survey favored eating burgers at backyard barbecues, per YouGov, others enjoy hot dogs, or ribs. But those aren't the only foods you should be turning to for your cookouts

Romaine lettuce may seem too delicate for the grill, but that is simply not the case. It doesn't instantly wilt or lose crunchiness under those flames. In fact, according to Allrecipes, grilled romaine gives this leafy vegetable both flavor and texture that will make your mouth water. And who knows? Maybe it will even keep your carnivore friends coming back for seconds. Allrecipes explains that placing hearts of romaine on those hot grates leads to a caramelized, smoky effect for the taste buds without sacrificing the crispness.

But if you are planning on serving this healthy and delicious lettuce the next time you host a pool party or a dinner al fresco, you will want to eat your grilled romaine right after you take it off the grill.

It can become a soggy mess

According to MasterClass, if you decide to throw some romaine on the grill, you want to eat it as soon as it is done because that salad green can get soggy rather quickly. For this reason, MasterClass also recommends not grilling your greens until you've cooked all of your other foods in an effort to avoid this romaine lettuce pitfall. Taste of Home shares that this is easy to accomplish since it takes just about two minutes to grill your romaine to perfection. When done properly, you get a softened exterior and crunchy interior that is delicious to eat on its own or as part of a salad.

Why does romaine turn into a soggy mess so easily? Cook's Illustrated notes that lettuce leaves have a "protective" waxy coat that keeps liquids out. While the explanation does not touch on the effect of grilling, it does say that oil can get past this ceraceous layer when making a salad. Damaging the waxy shield leads to sogginess. If you first toss your romaine with vinegar (which doesn't breach the protective coat as fast), it can hamper the oil's ability to pass through the coating. Creating an emulsion with vinegar and oil is even more effective.