Farmer's market

Grilled Salad & Farmers Markets

by Kathleen O'Keefe Kanavos

Summer and grilling go together like peanut and butter.

Delicious fresh foods grilled to perfection and served outdoors with loved ones are the beginning of treasured life-long memories. Freshness need not be synonymous with expensive at local Farmers Markets.

One of the things I look forward to during the summer on Cape Cod is the incredible fresh produce available at my local Farmers Market. Local fresh and dried fruits and fresh vegetables are unloaded from the back of family farm trucks, displayed under tents that shade them from the intense summer sun. Some venders accept credit cards but most prefer checks or cash.

Sometimes, shopping at the market to meet everyone's food requirements or restrictions can be tricky. For example, I love salads. However, some of my friends have health issues, such as diverticulitis or inflammatory bowel disease, which limit the consumption of raw vegetables.

My good friend Petronelle says in her strong British accent, that she can't eat "anything with pips." She describes pips as small seeds or nuts that can cause inflammation in the intestines. Digesting raw vegetables – even lettuce – can also present challenges that cooked veggies and salads can alleviate.

My recipe for Grilled Romaine Salad is one that everyone can enjoy. It can be made "pip" free, prepared ahead of time, stored in the refrigerator or served hot from the grill. If a grill is not available, the salad can be sautéed in a pan with the garlic.

It's quick, simple, healthy and delicious. It can be served as an accompaniment to meat or fish, or as a simple main dish with or without some locally baked bread, also available at your farmers market. Change it into a seasonal salad by adding grilled local fruit such as pears, apples or peaches. These can add color, flavor and pizzazz. The possibilities for this salad are endless.

Farmers Markets are in many cities on and around Cape Cod. Visit some of them on your next outing! Wondering where to find your closest market? The Buy Fresh Buy Local website has plenty of links to local farms and farmers markets.

Or check out this handy listing

Wondering what's fresh at the Cape Cod Farmers Markets right now? Check out this helpful chart

Click to download Acrobat reader
Click to print page

Support our local farmers!


Serves 4 - - Prep time: 7 minutes


  • 2 heads of Romaine Lettuce, cleaned, dried, and cut length-wise.
    4 Tbsp olive oil
    ¼ tsp chopped garlic
    1 small onion cut into rings
    ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
    1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
    1 Tbsp pine nuts, if desired
    Salt and pepper to taste


Pre-heat grill, turn down to medium high.

Brush cut Romaine lettuce on both sides with olive oil (or spray with cooking spray) and place flat side down on hot grill for 30 seconds on each side. Turn once.

Using a vegetable grill basket, add onions to grill and cook until desired consistency.

While lettuce and onions are grilling, sautée garlic in a pan with remaining olive oil. If using pine nuts, they can be added and toasted with garlic.

Place grilled lettuce flat side up on plate, cover with cooked onions.

Drizzle with garlic and oil, vinegar, and blue cheese (and toasted pine nuts, if using.)

Serve immediately as a hot salad.

Kathleen O'Keefe Kanavos

Kathleen O'Keefe-Kanavos was born to a military family, raised in Europe, graduated from Munich International High School in Germany, has a degree in Special Education from Keene Teacher's College in Keene, NH, taught Special Education for 10 years and Psychology at the University of South Florida.

Kathleen is a two time breast cancer survivor,, an agented author represented by Scovil, Galen & Ghosh Literary Agency and has penned the soon to be published book- SURVIVING CANCERLAND: The Psychic Aspects of Healing.

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