Dishing Up the Dirt

Charred Romaine with Smoky Seed Clusters

Our CSA members received GIANT heads of romaine lettuce in this past weeks share. The lettuce at Tumbleweed Farm is doing exceptional this season. It’s our main wholesale crop and we supply restaurants in the area with our loose leaf lettuce all season long. And while I love fresh greens tossed in a simple vinaigrette I’m really loving throwing whole heads of lettuce straight onto the grill. This charred romain is dressed in a simple balsamic dressing and loaded with smokey seed clusters, blue cheese crumbles (from our favorite cheese maker!) thinly sliced radishes and minced parsley. Simple, delicious and filling to boot! The smoky seed clusters get their bold flavor from smoked paprika and are lightly sweetened with a touch of pure cane sugar They are addicting and a great addition to any salad, pasta dish, grain bowl, or even toast.

I hope you all love this tasty salad as much as we do. Cheers from Tumbleweed Farm!

Charred Romaine with Smoky Seed Clusters

Prep Time: 15 min    Cook Time: 10 min    Serves: 4

  • 2 large heads of romaine lettuce, halved lengthwise, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2-3 tablespoons minced parsley
Smoky seed clusters
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pure cane sugar
Balsamic Vinaigrette 
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • coarse salt and ground pepper to taste


  1. Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat.
  2. In a medium sized skillet toast the sunflower and pumpkin seeds over medium heat, shaking the pan often, until the seeds are golden brown. About 3 minutes. Pour the seeds out onto a plate and toss with the paprika, cayenne and salt.
  3. Place the pan that previously toasted the seeds back on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the sugar and once the sugar has liquified (this wont take long!) add the seeds, tossing to coat them in the melted sugar. Do this quickly as you don’t want the sugar to burn. Remove from the heat and transfer the seeds to a plate to cool. Once cool enough to handle break the seeds apart into small clusters.
  4. Whisk together all the ingredients for the salad dressing and set aside.
  5. Toss the sliced romaine wedges with the 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place cut side down on the preheated grill and cook until lightly charred on the underside. About 3-5 minutes. Flip and cook for about 3-5 minutes longer on the opposite side or until lightly charred.
  6. Dived the romaine wedges between plates and top with the thinly sliced radishes, blue cheese, minced parsley. Drizzle with the dressing and top the wedges with the smokey seed clusters.


*Use this recipe as a guide *Adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary *Cooking times will vary depending on specific ingredients and grills

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One thought on “Charred Romaine with Smoky Seed Clusters

  1. Pam says:

    Holy cow these seed clusters are amazing! Prepped them for dinner tonight and I’ve eaten half already! Hope the rest lasts until the family gets home. Delicious recipe as always- love your site!

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