Grilled Little Gem Lettuce Salad offers a unique flavor that’s smoky and delicious. With avocado and a balsamic glaze, your guests won’t be able to get enough.Grilling the lettuce can turn an everyday salad into one that’s distinctive and over-the-top tasty.
And that's exactly what's going on with this amazing Grilled Little Gem Lettuce Salad.
What is Little Gem Lettuce?
Little Gem Lettuce, sometimes called Baby Gem Lettuce, can be described as a combination of Butter lettuce and Romaine lettuce.
It’s not a hybrid of the two however, it’s crisp like Romaine and subtly sweet and tender like Butter.
So is Little Gem Lettuce the same as Romaine? Yes, it is actually very small heads of Romaine.
Each head of Little Gem Lettuce is approximately 3 to 5-inches long with a diameter of approximately 1½ to 3-inches.
Little Gem Lettuce is typically sold with most of the outer leaves removed, leaving just the heart. The leaves are tightly intact, making it perfect for grilling, and therefore ideal in this Grilled Little Gem Lettuce Salad.
Why Grill Lettuce?
-Grilling lettuce is almost like adding an additional ingredient to a recipe, and the flavor is slightly sweet and smoky.
-Grilling the lettuce also slightly changes the texture. When we grill lettuce, we don’t want to actually cook it, we just want to add that extra layer of flavor,which comes in the form of a very thin crust. The heat from the grill caramelizes the surface, crisping it at the same time.
In Grilled Little Gem Lettuce Salad the smoky-sweet char flavor is so delicious with the creamy avocado.
How to Grill Lettuce
Little Gem Lettuce or larger heads of Romaine are the easiest varieties to grill because the leaves generally stay intact.
As with anything you grill, the grill must be very hot when the lettuce hits it. If it’s not hot enough, it won’t sear and get that delicious, crisp caramelization.
Again, we don’t want to cook it, we just quickly want to add the char marks to it. This only takes a couple of minutes of very high heat. That’s all it needs to slightly change the texture and flavor, bringing the Grilled Little Gem Lettuce Salad to another level.
Can you sauté instead of grill?
Yes, you can. In a cast iron skillet you can achieve a similar result. The caramelization will be there, though the smoky flavor will be less intense.
What’s in Grilled Little Gem Lettuce Salad?
This salad features avocado, blue cheese, a balsamic glaze and a touch of lemon.
With just those few ingredients it packs in a ton of flavor, and it’s a huge crowd pleaser!
I hope you love Grilled Little Gem Lettuce Salad as much as my family and I do.
More Delicious Salads
Grilled Little Gem Lettuce Salad
- 8 heads Little Gem Lettuce, washed and dried, roots trimmed, cut in half lengthwise
- olive oil for drizzling
- ½ large avocado, thinly sliced
- 1½ tablespoons blue cheese, crumbled
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper
- Preheat a stove-top grill over high heat.
- Place the prepared Little Gems on a baking sheet or large plate, flat sides up. Drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- When the grill is very hot, add the lettuce to it, flat sides down. If you don’t hear a sizzling sound, the grill isn’t hot enough yet. Wait for the sizzle! Grill just to mark them, about 3 minutes. Use kitchen tongs to remove them from the grill and place them on a plate to cool. Set aside.
- Arrange the grilled Little Gems and avocado slices on a serving platter. Sprinkle with the blue cheese and drizzle with the lemon juice.
- Add the balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan and bring to a strong simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer until the vinegar has reduced by about half. Let it cool slightly and then drizzle it over the salad.
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I could devour the whole thing! It looks so yummy and healthful 🙂
Thanks so much, Angie! Devour away. 😉 ~Valentina
*smile* Have had to think about this one ! Simplistically lettuce of any kind is a green salad and thus eaten raw . . . But yours looks most appetizing leading one to want to try ! Have not seen baby gem in my usual haunts so may try with romaine. Avocado and blue cheese naturally are firm favourites . . . like your plating . . .
I so love receiving your thoughtful comments, Eha. Thank you. I hope you'll give it a go and that you find it tasty and interesting. Romaine should work perfectly. Enjoy and happy weekend. 🙂 ~Valentina
Little gem lettuce is my favourite lettuce, so I would so enjoy this salad! I love the idea of the smoky flavours xo
Thanks, Gemma. So happy you like the Little Gems. 🙂 ~Valentina
This sounds incredible. I’ve only braised lettuce for a French pea recipe, but never roasted it. Of course it would have to be wonderful, since roasting takes everything to a new level! I can’t wait to try!
I hope you try and love it, Mimi! Thank you and enjoy. 🙂 ~Valentina
Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop
These little gems are a perfect size and great for making a salad. I've never tried grilling lettuce for a salad, but I was served one once and it was amazing. This salad looks impressive and perfect for serving to guests!
Thank you, Kathy. I do love how tiny they are. 🙂 Hope you love it! ~Valentina
Since the days are getting longer, this is definitely our new week day dinner that could be prepared on the balcony. I just have to check if any white wine at hand ! Thank you so much Valentina !
Oh yes, don't forget the wine! Perfect. Thanks, Davorka, and cheers. 🙂 ~Valentina
Dawn - Girl Heart Food
I love the presentation of this one, Valentina! Plus, blue cheese and avocado? How could you go wrong with that?? Absolutely delicious and looking forward to trying soon 🙂
Thank you, Dawn. I'm with you on the blue cheese and avo. A match made in heaven. 😉 ~Valentina
David @ Spiced
I must admit that Little Gem Lettuce is new to me, but I love grilled salads. It's almost time for full-fledged grilling season here, and I couldn't be more excited about it! The avocado + blue cheese are excellent additions here, and I can imagine the grilled taste. This is making me so excited for summer grilling!!
Thanks, David. I bit it's a great day when the cooler weather leaves, and the sun and BBQ make a simultaneous appearance. 🙂 ~Valentina