Joss' Island
Grilled Romaine with Blue Bacon Cheese Vinagrette
Posted 7/29/2013 1:09:00 PM

When I first started this project, one of the listeners who won Guy Fieri's cookbook from us said to me "Cook this recipe first - it's the easiest!." Well finally 50 recipes later (give or take) I have cooked the "Grilled Romaine with Blue Cheese Bacon Vinagrette." Seriously, if you want to impress your friends, have the boss over for dinner or impress your new significant others parents (during that awkward meet-the-parents date) THIS is the salad to make. (Uhhh sorry the picture is sideways - stupid thing)

The guy who told me to cook this recipe first was Carl. Carl was right - this is crazy easy, super tasty and VERY impressive!

But this is where the story becomes serious. The night I made this dinner, I had a friend over. I have had this REALLY good bottle of wine on hand for several weeks and we debated about opening it. I finally said DO IT...and here's why.

I had a friend who had a boyfriend that died at 36 years old. I remember my friend saying that the boyfriend had all of this good wine to drink and he just kept waiting for a "special occassion" to drink it...and now he was gone and he never got to drink his wine. From that day forward, I never really kept good wine in the house for long - it always got drank up, because every day is a special occasion. So, we toasted this young man with our first glass of wine.

As we finished our meal, we found out that someone who was very influential in our industry had passed away. His name was Kidd Kraddick. He developed the morning show network that Rob and I are a part of (where we correspond with other radio people) and he was one of the shows we have listened to online. Kidd was 53 years old and died on the golf course during a tournament where he was raising money for his children's charity. When we got this news, we poured a little more wine and toasted Kidd.I cannot tell you how stunning it was to get the news that this man who was at the height of his career had passed so suddenly.

This came just a week after the news that one of the people who inspired me to get into radio - Bill Kelly -  had also passed very young of cancer. He was on my childhood station X-100 and later on a station where I had the privledge to work with him at Mix 106.5 in San Jose. I actually got to have one of those "full circle moments" where I said to him "HEY you inspired me to BE in radio and now I get to WORK with you!" It's a rarity to do that, and it was a pretty cool moment.

This was a beautiful, tragic, terrible reminder of how nothing is guaranteed. It's a reminder that some of us will live to be 100, and some of us - like Kidd and Bill won't see 60. Yet, this is what makes life beautiful - because if we were always guaranteed tomorrow, because if we lived forever, because if we had no sadness and no darkness we would never see the light.

So take in the moments of laughter with your friends, the sound of  your loved ones voices, the smell of your children's hair when you pull them in for a hug, feel the purr of your cat under your hand, see the last few moments of a sunset. Take it in. Remember it all. And raise a glass of the good wine. Today is a special occasion. 

Here ist the recipe:


4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 pound bacon, chopped
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 heads romaine lettuce, cut in 1/2 lengthwise
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the grill to high heat.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a saute pan over high heat. Add the onions and bacon and cook until the bacon is crispy. To the same pan add the balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.

Brush the romaine lettuce with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, place on the grill cut side down, and quickly sear.

Serve the lettuce, cut side up, and drizzle the balsamic dressing over the lettuce. Sprinkle with blue cheese and garnish with cracked black pepper.

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Posted By: Joss  

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  1. TammieF posted on 08/01/2013 10:05 AM
    This sounds SUPER yummy Joss! I'm going to do this recipe this weekend. :-)
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