By Katie Cooper EBS Contributor

During June, July and August in Montana there are no excuses: Dinner should be prepared on the grill. Cooking and dining during the warmer months is best enjoyed outdoors because summer always seems in an awfully big hurry to get somewhere.

Meals should be quick and easy because who wants to labor over a stove all day? Salads, with the abundance of local, ripe berries and leafy greens, are also synonymous with summer. So here’s a recipe for a delicious salad prepared on the grill.

This tasty Cobb salad uses romaine lettuce and comes together in minutes. The romaine and bacon are grilled to create a lightly charred flavor that melds perfectly with creamy ranch dressing. Don’t be fooled by its simplicity, this salad is incredibly filling. However, if you’re craving more protein throw a steak on the grill too!

What you’ll need (serves two)

Two heads of romaine lettuce
1/2 an avocado
1/2 cup raspberries or one apple
1/3 cup toasted walnuts
1/3 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
Six slices of bacon
Jalapeno ranch dressing

How to make it

Lightly grease the grill and heat to medium or medium-high. Place the romaine heads and bacon on the grill. Grill the romaine for 2 minutes, 30 seconds on each side or until slightly charred but not overly wilted, and grill the bacon until crispy. Place the bacon on a paper towel-lined plate to help absorb any excess grease while plating the salad.

For presentation, place one head of romaine on each plate, cut into four chunks leaving the stem intact, and arrange in a half circle following the plate rim. Dress with ranch and garnish with whole or fanned avocado, fruit, walnuts, Gorgonzola and crumbled bacon. Serve warm.

If you don’t have raspberries or an apple, use other seasonal fruits; it will taste just as good! Also, if you don’t want to make homemade dressing, I like Litehouse Jalapeno Ranch found in the grocery store’s refrigerated section. It’s gluten free, and has no MSG, preservatives, or high-fructose corn syrup.

Katie Cooper is a food stylist and photographer who gardens and cooks from her country home outside of Willow Creek. More recipes can be found on her blog pitchforksandpomegranates.com, which aims to inspire others to cook using seasonal ingredients grown in backyard gardens or from local farmers and ranchers we know and trust.