Here's Why You Should Grill Your Salad, According To The 'WH' Test Kitchen

grilled little gem and asparagus tonnato
Grilled Little Gem and Asparagus Tonnato RecipePhoto: Rocky Luten; Food Styling: Rebecca Jurkevich

Yields: 1-4

Total Time: 20 mins


For Tonnato Dressing

  • 1

    4.9-oz can oil-packed tuna

  • 1/3 c.

    olive oil

  • 2 tbsp.


  • 2 tsp.

    lemon zest plus 1/4 cup lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving

  • 1 tsp.

    capers, drained

  • 2

    cloves garlic

  • 2

    anchovy fillets in olive oil

  • Pepper

For Salad

  • 1

    bunch asparagus, tough ends discarded

  • 4 1/2 tsp.

    olive oil, divided

  • Kosher salt

  • 2

    heads Little Gem lettuce (6 oz each), quartered with core intact

  • 2

    slices whole-grain bread

  • 2

    4.9-oz cans oil-packed tuna, drained and flaked into chunks

  • 1/3 c.

    flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped


  1. Make dressing: In blender on high, puree contents of tuna can (including its oil), olive oil, mayo, lemon zest and juice, capers, garlic, anchovies, and 1/4 tsp coarsely ground pepper, scraping sides as needed, until smooth, 1 min. If mixture is too thick, add water 1 Tbsp at a time to help blend; refrigerate.

  2. Make salad: Heat grill or grill pan on high. Toss asparagus with 1 tsp oil and pinch of salt. Grill, turning occasionally, until nicely charred and tender, 5 to 6 min. Transfer to cutting board.

  3. Brush cut sides of lettuce with 11/2 tsp oil and bread with remaining 2 tsp oil. Grill lettuce cut-side-down until slightly charred, 45 to 60 sec. per cut side. Grill bread until nicely charred, 1 to 2 min. per side. When cool enough to handle, tear bread into pieces and cut asparagus on diagonal into bite-size pieces. Transfer lettuce and asparagus to plates, drizzle each plate with 1/4 cup dressing, and top with tuna; scatter croutons and parsley on top. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

Per serving: About 425 cal, 39 g fat (4.5 g sat), 35 mg chol, 616 mg sodium, 18 g carb, 3 g fiber, 4 g sugar (1.5 g added sugar), 26 g pro

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