Grilled Romaine Hearts w/ Walnut Oil

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Coming straight off the heels of my #24mealsin24hours Food Resolution with my husband & siblings, I decided to do a detox week. The meal challenge was actually pretty cool! Except for the fast food. My digestive system has become kind of snobbish. Sorry. I’ve tried talking to her but she’s over her young, carefree “I’m up for anything!” days. One of our meals in the challenge was Garlic BBQ Chicken (yes! we fired up the grill and it was oh so good) so I decided to combine grilling and veggies this week. Since I made that decision, I found myself obsessing over the grilling potential of everything I see in my fridge. Can you grill hummus? Probably not.

What did I settle on? Grilled Romaine Lettuce! I’ve always thought that I should eat more salad, since I tend to lean towards the cauliflower-broccoli-mushroom type of veggie dishes rather than the lettuce-cucumber-tomato combo. I usually buy lettuce though and for some reason all the fridges I’ve ever used seem to hate my guts and I always open my veggie drawer the next day and see a saddened, frozen / soggy / slimy / discoloured mass of leaves staring at me, daring me to eat them! it’s like the Vegetable version of the game of Chicken. And I always lose.

So today I decided to preempt the game and grill that sucker. I decided to use walnut oil instead of regular oil because lettuce is still lettuce no matter what you do and I really do like nutty flavours (which in no way is meant to draw a comparison to my behaviour at times). Walnut Oil tolerates medium-high heat so I knew that I couldn’t really char the lettuce too much. That was fine with me, especially since the walnut flavour really comes through nicely.

Grilled Romaine Hearts w/ Walnut Oil

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


1 Romaine Lettuce Heart

1 tbsp Walnut Oil

1/2 tsp Black Pepper (or more if desired)

1/4 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (more or less if desired)

Parmesan Cheese, for topping


Fire up your BBQ grill or a grill pan on your stove. Mix oil, peppers & salt in a small bowl or plate. Cut Romaine heart in half, keeping the leaves intact at the base on each side. Paint the cut sides with most of the oil mixture and place on grill, cut side down. Let cook for 5 minutes. While cooking, paint the outside with the remaining oil mixture. Flip over and grill the other side for 3 minutes, taking care not to let the leaves detach.

So much work, right?
So much work, right?

photo 4

photo (2)

Remove from grill and cut the base off, separating the lettuce leaves. Top with Parmesan cheese. Add more pepper if desired.

In my opinion, the red pepper flakes really give the lettuce a nice kick. I had this for dinner with some hard boiled eggs & grilled asparagus, and I feel really satisfied. All I need now is for someone to make me some tea. Any takers? My sister left her laptop charger at my house the other day, so I’m considering holding it for ransom until she makes me some. 😀

It's the type of meal you SUMMER! (If you've watched Frozen recently and have a sister  that loves Olaf, you'll get this)
It’s the type of meal you want…in SUMMER! (If you’ve watched Frozen recently and have a sister that loves Olaf, you’ll get this)

Indi: 1. Romaine: 0. Bring on the Boston, Bibb & Iceberg!


  1. I have the same lettuce woes, if I don’t get it all in almost 24 hours it’s no longer good. This grilled romaine sounds like an awesome way to eat it all quickly though! I’ve never used walnut oil but I imagine that flavor is really great.

    • Thanks Alex! I’m glad someone else shares the lettuce woes. I don’t understand the problem – I mean I’ve tested it with so many different crisper temperatures but somehow it always lets me down! I ended up eating an entire half, which usually isn’t something I can ever do lol.

  2. Wow! I don’t think I’ve ever grilled romaine lettuce, what a write-up for the books! :)). It does look pretty appetizing though – I’m gonna have to give it a try for sure!

  3. ah! Something I haven’t grilled! Looks like a great way to get yer greens. Love your score card at the end. Looking forward to seeing how you beat that Boston bibb!! 😉

  4. I could use some salad. Also you crack me up – “it’s like the Vegetable version of the game of Chicken. And I always lose.” love it!

  5. I really like this idea – never considered grilling lettuce. And the flavoured oil is a nice touch too. Must remember this when I’m trying to remember what veggies are when the meat’s on the grill 🙂

    • Lol I understand your dilemma…when I see that charred chicken I can barely think of anything else! The lettuce was a nice change though – a light meal but really filling, and the smoky flavour is pretty great.

  6. Yum, I’ve seen this in restaurants before, but never really tried it. It is grilling season here too, so I’ll have to give it a go. You have made it look really easy! 🙂

  7. This is a great idea. We have had loads of romaine from our garden, and it keeps better than most greens, but new ways to use it up are most welcome. Will give this one a try.

  8. What a beautiful summer side! I’ll be keen to try grilling romaine in exactly this way when the weather finally warms up again here in Australia! Hope you enjoy Fiesta Friday #27 this week Indira – there are some amazing dishes/posts to explore! Hope you have a great weekend, Margot

  9. Haha, this was a great post, Indira!! Go you! The grilled romain lettuce looks pretty tasty, I’m sure everyone at FF is loving this dish. And….are you sure you don’t want some bubbles as well as tea? 😉

    • That sounds pretty great! I was toying with the idea of a deconstructed Caesar salad, but I wanted to let the romaine stand on it’s own. I’ll have to try it that way next time!

  10. Never, ever thought of grilling lettuce! I’ve been able to grow some lettuce in my garden and have loved going out to pick some fresh rather than deal with the inevitable half-eaten slime disaster 😉 Have a great weekend.

  11. This is hands down my favorite way to have a salad . . . grilled romaine hearts. I love this recipe and am so glad you reminded me it’s been a while and I need to make again. I don’t actually have a grill so I pan sear the hearts and then turn over with a bit of liquid and sort of “braise” for a couple minutes to soften further. I LOVE that you have used walnut oil here, I feel more people should try walnut oil because it is sooooo delicious and really makes your salads something elevated with that amazing flavor. Plus it’s so good for you. We have a walnut farmer at our farmers market and he has the most amazing oil . . . . we get some about once every couple of months because it’s a bit pricey, but it’s also so flavorful that you don’t need to use a big portion.

    • Thanks Sue! I like the idea of braising it. I don’t want to have to fire up the grill every time I have a craving, so that’s a really great alternative. I’m also glad I found someone that likes walnut oil as much as I do – it really just elevates the dish, doesn’t it! I think it’s also soo cool that you have a walnut farmer. I bought mine in a tin and I’ve never actually seen it sold otherwise. I may have to visit your farmer’s market soon! 🙂

  12. I love lettuce on the grill but I have never thought of walnut oil to go with them and it sounds and looks delicious! 🙂 I will try it for the next BBQ!

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