One way to kick the flavor of vegetables into high gear is to employ umami, a taste that makes food "can’t-stop-eating-it incredible," raves Raquel Pelzel, author of Umami Bomb (Workman). "I believe that if we could make our veggies taste extra great, everyone would eat more of them!" Umami is a component of the cheese and nutritional yeast in the recipe below; grill smoke adds a similar note.
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 medium shallot, minced
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 heads of romaine lettuce hearts, halved lengthwise
4 slices (1/4"–1/2" thick) good-quality bread
1 tbsp finely chopped chives
- Heat a charcoal or gas grill to high (or use a grill pan over high heat). Brush the hot grate with a grill brush. Fold a paper towel into quarters and dip it into vegetable oil, then use long tongs to grease the grill grates with the towel.
- Mix together garlic, shallot, nutritional yeast, mustard, salt (1 tsp) and pepper. Whisk in lemon juice and then slowly whisk in olive oil (3 tbsp) until the dressing is creamy and emulsified.
- Brush cut sides of the lettuce halves with 2 tbsp of olive oil; sprinkle with salt. Drizzle both sides of each bread slice with some olive oil, then season 1 side of each piece with a pinch of salt. Place bread and lettuce (cut side down) on the grill and cook until lettuce is charred around the edges and grill-marked on one side (do not turn), and bread is toasted and grill-marked on both sides, 3–4 minutes.
- Transfer bread to a platter and set lettuce, charred side up, on top of the bread. Drizzle vinaigrette over the lettuce and use a vegetable peeler to shave ribbons of the cheese over the top. Sprinkle with chives; serve immediately.
Yields 4 servings
Source: Umami Bomb: 75 (Mostly) Vegetarian Recipes That Explode With Flavor by Raquel Pelzel (Workman Publishing). Copyright © 2019. Photographs by Kate Sears.
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**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.