Your Caesar Salad Will Taste Better With This Hack

The salad wasn't actually invented by Julius Caesar (though the creator was a person named Caesar), and it's more than just that one salad option that your local pizza place has. In fact, it's a salad with a lot more going on than you might think. We're talking, of course, about the beloved, famous go-to salad option: the Caesar salad.

The Caesar salad is already beyond well known and, because of this, it seems to have grown a bit too comfortable on people's lunch plates, dinner tables, and in their minds. This said, there is a way to shake up this romaine lettuce classic, and it's an especially great hack for the summer season.

The typical Caesar salad ingredients are romaine lettuce, some slightly sweet but definitely salty dressing, Parmesan cheese, and croutons. You know it, you love it, and you might be a bit skeptical about how to make this already pretty perfect salad even better. The answer is a hack that uses a piece of equipment you likely already have, one you use most often in the summertime.

Grilling can really take Caesar salad to another level

As said, the Caesar salad is already pretty perfect. In fact, as The Washington Post reported, in 1953, the Caesar salad was declared by the International Society of Epicures in Paris as the greatest recipe from the Americas in 50 years. The salad was created in 1924, by one Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant with a restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico. Per Food & Wine, Julia Child and her family made a special trip to Cardini's restaurant in the 1920s to try Cardini's romaine creation, and of course, the salad is today beloved the world over. And so, how can a salad that's already so great actually be better? The answer is the backyard grill.

All right, there may be some initial confusion: Don't just chuck a bowl of ready-made Caesar salad onto the grill and watch it slip through the grates and burn away. Instead, this grilled version of the salad requires that you pop and char some sectioned whole heads of lettuce on the grill first; you can also grill some chicken to throw on top as well. Grilling the lettuce will add a whole new flavor profile to your Caesar salad, making it, in our opinion, even better. 

Before grilling, slice the romaine lettuce lengthwise, brush with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. You'll want to char the lettuce face-down for about four minutes. Once the lettuce halves are properly tenderized and deliciously smoky, add your other Caesar salad ingredients to this wonderful new platform of flavor. In this version, the grilled lettuce serves the same purpose as the toasted bread does of an open-faced sandwich.