Grilled Romaine Lettuce

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Hearts of romaine lettuce, painted with a herb vinaigrette, and grilled. Served whole, or chopped for a grilled salad.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

One of the great things about being a food blogger is that it compels you to be somewhat adventurous in your food. If you had told me a few years ago that I would not only be happily eating grilled romaine lettuce, but encouraging others to do the same, I would have thought you were nuts.

Why in the world would anyone want to grill lettuce? Lettuce just isn’t part of the grilling food group people! You know, burgers, ribs, beer can chicken.

Grilled lettuce? Why that’s just… just pretentious, that’s what.

Well the joke’s on me, and anyone who loves salad and also loves grilled things, but hasn’t tried to put them together. Lettuce is a vegetable, or at least we eat it like one. We do grill vegetables. They are good. It stands to reason that the vegetable we call lettuce, if endowed with enough structure, which romaine has, would also be good grilled. And it is!

Grilled Romaine Lettuce

That said, as much as I like it, my mom likes it, and my friends like it, you may not. But I do encourage you to try it, especially if you have some romaine hearts around.

When you’re done with the grilling, you can either serve them whole (one romaine heart per person), or slice them crosswise, and toss them in a bowl for a grilled salad.

Grilled Romaine Lettuce Recipe

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  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3-4

What are romaine hearts? Just the inner leaves of romaine lettuce that stay somewhat tightly together, not the outer leaves.

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 romaine hearts
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar (or cider vinegar)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper

Method

1 Prep the romaine hearts—pull off any old leaves. Chop off the top 1 or 2 inches of the lettuce head, and shave off the browned part of the root end, leaving the root end intact so that the lettuce head stays together.

2 Prepare your grill for high, direct heat. Paint the lettuce hearts all over with the vinaigrette. Prepare the vinaigrette. Put the oil, vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk with a fork to combine.

3 Grill the romaine hearts until lightly browned on all sides, turning every minute or two until done.

Serve immediately. You can either serve the hearts whole, or chop them and toss them for a salad.

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Showing 4 of 23 Comments

  • Celeste

    I have looked all over the web for a grilled romaine salad without a grill (I live in a condo). Any suggestions? I have a grill pan, don’t know if I should use that or just put it on the actual burner itself.

  • Susan Gosser

    Love, love, love Grilled Romaine Lettuce – having it tonight along with a Tenderloin Steak. Yum, Yum, Yum.

  • Mike G

    This is so good. And it doesn’t get wilted and soft. Eat your veggies!

  • Tim Clark

    It’s also great to use the grilled romaine for Caesar salad. Parmesan takes on a whole new personality when it hits that smoky lettuce.

  • Monty

    First reaction: Elise has lost her mind.
    After figuring that you haven’t lead me astray yet, I tried it. Yum Yum Thanks for the idea.

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Grilled Romaine Lettuce