Smoked Salad by James Speed Hensinger

Extremely easy and delicious. A "Wow" for entertaining.


  • Romaine Lettuce - one firm, crisp head for each pair of diners.
  • Cherry Tomatoes - 10 for each pair of diners.
  • Cooking Oil Spray
  • Wood Chips for smoking - 1-2 cups (mesquite, cherry, hickory, etc,).
  • Italian Dressing (Any good recipe.)


  • Soak wood chips in water for at least an hour.
  • Do not core lettuce. Retain "stump" of core.
  • Pull off and discard outer leaves of lettuce until firm tightly closed leaves are exposed. Cut each head of lettuce lengthwise into two pieces. Do not disassemble pieces. Lettuce stump should hold individual pieces together.
  • Place lettuce in ice water immediately (at least twenty minutes prior to serving).
  • Pre-heat a very hot covered gas or charcoal grill.


  • Place a single handful of wood chips on grill where they will ignite in a minute or two. Cover grill.
  • Cover large serving platter with clean kitchen towel.
  • Place whole tomatoes on towel in a single layer and apply cooking oil spray to coat.
  • Gently shake water from lettuce, and lay cut side up on towel and tomatoes.
  • Apply cooking oil spray to cut side only until coating is visible.
  • Check grill for smoke production.
  • Using tongs, place lettuce pieces cut side down across bars of grill.
  • Dump tomatoes on grill, and send towel to laundry.
  • Cover grill immediately to captivate smoke.
  • Check lettuce for slight grill marks after thirty seconds to two minutes.

Do not cook lettuce. If it is wilted or softened other than on cut side, it is overcooked.

Remove lettuce to serving platter cut side up. Garnish with tomatoes from grill. Drizzel with Italian dressing, and serve immediately.

Enjoy! James Speed Hensinger

Copyright © J. S. Hensinger