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Grilled lettuce salad with creamy maple Dijon dressing

Grilled lettuce adds a whole new flavor to this leafy summer salad.

This season, I'm grilling greens. Not just the typical asparagus and zucchini, but the leafy greens usually reserved for salads. Cabbage and bok choy and kale. And now, lettuce.

Something wonderful happens to greens on the grill. They get warm and a little bit smoky, and they taste sweeter, too. Chop your grilled greens and add them to salads like this grilled lettuce salad with tomato, cucumber, bacon, cheese, and a creamy dressing. Or use them as wraps, replacing tortillas or rice paper wrappers. For something new at your next barbecue, toss your greens with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and throw them on the grill. You're going to love it.

While your grill is hot, get some char on your lettuce, and kick up this salad!

Grilled lettuce salad with creamy Dijon dressing

From the pantry, you'll need: bacon, parsley, mayonnaise, plain low-fat yogurt, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, fresh black pepper.

Serves 2; can be multiplied.


1 head romaine lettuce, root end still attached
1 tsp olive oil
3 slices bacon (optional), cooked and chopped into large pieces
1 tomato, any type, chopped
1 small avocado, chopped into large pieces
1/4 cup chopped cucumber, any type
1/4 cup chopped mozzarella
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

For the dressing:
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 Tbsp plain low-fat yogurt
2 tsp Dijon mustard (plain or grainy)
1-2 tsp white balsamic vinegar, to taste
1 tsp maple syrup
Fresh black pepper, to taste


Slice the head of lettuce in half lengthwise. Use a pastry brush to coat each half on both sides with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Heat a grill (or panini press, or stovetop grill pan), and cook the lettuce until it has nice grill marks, but is not too limp and charred. 

When cool enough to handle, chop into large (2-inch) pieces, discarding the root end. Toss into a large mixing bowl, along with the remaining salad ingredients.

In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, add all of the dressing ingredients, and shake the jar vigorously to thicken the dressing (or whisk everything in a small bowl). Pour as much as you need over the salad, and mix gently.

Serve at room temperature, or chilled.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More lettuce-based salads:
Shrimp and black bean salad with chipotle lime dressing, from The Perfect Pantry
Greek chicken chopped salad with creamy poppy seed dressing, from The Perfect Pantry
Roasted butternut squash butter lettuce salad with spicy avocado dressing, from Foodiecrush
Mediterranean lettuce salad with purslane, mint, tomatoes, cucumbers, and sumac-lemon vinaigrette, from Kalyn's Kitchen

An easy salad that starts with lettuce on the grill!

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Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


It's time for me to start grilling greens - even though I grill a lot of things I have not gotten around to greens. Thanks for the inspiration. Love the sound of the creamy dressing!

I've seen this idea before but you're the first person who has inspired me to try it. And thanks for the tip to keep the root end of the lettuce attached when you cook it. Everything about the salad sounds wonderful.

And thanks for mentioning one of my salads!

I've yet to try grilling greens. You've inspired me to give it a try. This looks terrific!

Janice, I'm grilling everything this year, so stay tuned for more greens! Next up -- baby bok choy.

Kalyn, there seems to be no stopping me on the grill this summer!

Kristi, I hope you give this a try!

Trying with baby bok choy... sounds so good!

Susan, my bok choy recipe will be coming soon! If you come up with one you like, please share it.

I was looking for bacon and avocado recipes which is my favorite combo. Your recipe is my shopping list for today :)

I had never ever tried grilled lettuce, until last night. Thank you for the inspiration. The taste did seem sweeter.

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