Latin Twist: Grilled Caesar Salad


I know what you’re thinking. How can you grill a salad?

Okay mis amigos, maybe you’re not thinking that, but let’s face it: grilling and salad  may not usually star together. (Can I say that  unusual is the new usual?)

I also know that many of you, like me, are big barbecue  fans. Additionally, many of you have told me that you’re looking  to mix things up a bit, and add some spark, variety, or maybe just some different elements to your entertaining repertoire.

For you, my friends, I bring you something different: Here’s a salad that is super summer friendly, and, por supuesto, tasty! Grilled Caesar Salad2


This version of the Grilled Caesar Salad originally hails from Latin Grill, by Rafael Palomino with Arlen Gargagliano (photos by Dan Goldberg, published in 2010 by Chronicle Books). And before I go any further, I have to tell you that I’m a huge fan of the “traditional” Caesar salad. In fact, and here comes my confession, when we were working on this book, I was initially a bit skeptical about the whole grilling lettuce-and-avocado thing would work out. But, my friends, one bite of this Grilled Caesar Salad taught me that even barbecue “boundaries”  can be flexible. Ah, yes…once again I have to say, “play with your food!” And, of course, ¡Buen provecho! Enjoy!

Latin Twist: Grilled Caesar Salad

Serving Size: 4

Grilling makes most better! You may not have imagined grilling avocado before--but this salad will convince you that even in grilling, the sky's the limit!


  • 1 head romaine lettuce, leaves rinsed and diced, tops and bottoms removed
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pinch coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 medium-ripe avocado,peeled, seeded and sliced into eighths (note: if it's too ripe it won't hold up to grilling)


  1. Light a fire in a charcoal or gas grill.
  2. Separate the romaine lettuce leaves, and place them in a bowl.
  3. Brush just a bit of the oil on the leaves to lightly coat them for the grill.
  4. Repeat the process with the avocado
  5. Cut the lettuce into bite-size chunks and place them in a bowl.
  6. Add the Parmesan cheese, salt, and vinegar and toss.
  7. Add the avocado and serve immediately.


About Author

Maybe it was the dinner parties my mom always threw—or the hours I spent prepping and cooking alongside her (and then on my own!). Or maybe it was array of fabulous dishes that my family sampled in New York City’s richly diverse restaurants, but I’ve loved creating, savoring, and sharing food for as long as I can remember. Living in Spain, and later in Peru, also greatly influenced my life. These years abroad taught me Spanish—and about living in different countries--but also introduced me to teaching English as a second language, which I’ve done—mostly in the US-- for the past 20-plus (yikes!) years. I’ve authored two cocktail/tapas books, Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers, coauthored more than 15 others (mostly food related!), and raised two children. Now I'm chef and owner of my own restaurant, Mambo 64 in Tuckahoe, New York. My message is the same, whether I'm teaching, writing, running the restaurant or being a regular guest on the Spanish-language network Telemundo (on the morning show, Buenos Días Nueva York!). My belief in food—and the power of food—is far reaching, and is married with another one: the power of stories. I’m sure that if we could all sit down and have meals together, sharing both tastes and tales, we’d have peace on earth. Enjoy!

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