This is one of those recipes that I’m known for within my family. It’s such a simple dish with amazing results, it’s just unbelievable how the grill transforms your average romaine heart!
So why is grilled romaine my go-to side dish?
It is quick and easy and yields flavorful results every time. Because the grill caramelizes the lettuce, there’s no need for added dressing which makes it low in fat/calories and high in flavor! Only a few simple ingredients are used in this recipe: sea salt, fresh ground pepper, olive oil and FRESH grated parmesan cheese (no canned stuff!).
People find this recipe to be so surprising because people wouldn’t expect that romaine would be great grilled- but it is. The grill sweetens and caramelizes the romaine leaves, heightening its flavor while adding smoke flavor that takes it to the next level.
What I love about grilled romaine is that it is an easy side dish to make when you are throwing a protein on the grill. This is part of my “Meal on the Grill” concept, where you can make everything on the grill, including dessert! There’s no need to run back inside to make side dishes when the flavor of the grill amps up the flavor of those sides!
Can you grill other types of lettuces?
Any hardier lettuce like endive or iceberg works well. My grilled wedge salad is one of my favorite salads outside of this one. Try it, I promise you’ll love it! Grilling the iceberg and tomatoes adds a nice smoky contract to the creamy blue cheese and crisp bacon. Again, the smoke flavor from the grill takes foods to new heights!
What other vegetables are good on the grill?
I love making simple grilled summer squash and zucchini. Add fresh herbs, fresh grates parmesan and high quality sea salt like Maldon or french grey and veggies don’t need much else!
Grilling Romaine hearts takes transforms this lettuce- adding a touch of sweetness and smoke flavor. Try this and you’ll be amazed at the results!
- Romaine Hearts (one per person)- rinse, dried
- 1 tbsp olive oil (give or take) you will drizzle this over the romaine hearts
- Sea Salt- to taste
- Fresh Ground Black pepper
- Parmesan Cheese- (or another hard/aged cheese) grated over the grilled romaine hearts
- Prepare your grill for direct heat.
- Rinse/dry the romaine hearts, drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and pepper.
- Grill the romaine hearts on direct for 3-4 minutes each side, or until char marks form and the lettuce begins to wilt.
- Remove the hearts from the grill and grate a generous amount of parmesan (or another hard/aged cheese) on the hearts (you can also add a little more olive oil).
- For a crowd, you can chop the hearts up and put them in a bowl to serve as a large salad. I serve one heart per person on the side of the main course.
This dish is super easy and people always think you are the most creative person on earth when you serve it. Most people don’t think of grilling lettuce which is why this is such a fun dish to serve- it is always a welcome surprise at the dinner table!