A Spicy Perspective

Grilled Romaine Salad + Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

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For Valentines Day (and every other day you could use a little love) we’re serving up Grilled Romaine Salad with Creamy Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing and Avocado Hearts! 

Grilled Romaine Salad + Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing and Avocado Hearts! #valentinesday

I’m a big fan of grilled romaine salad.

You place romaine lettuce on a hot grill until char marks form, so you get a crisp yet wilted, cool yet hot effect. Have you tried it?

You really should.

Easy Grilled Romaine Salad + Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing and Avocado Hearts! #valentinesday

We’re still doing our best to focus on light healthy dishes for the new year. However, the Valentine treats I see in every shop window are calling my name.

It’s not that I can’t say no to chocolate. (Ok, maybe I can’t.) Yet even more than that, I like foods that are served in cute shapes. Don’t judge.

Hearts make me smile.

Vibrant Grilled Romaine Salad + Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing and Avocado Hearts! #valentinesdayHeritage Collection from QSquared.

Another thing that makes me smile are pretty dishes. I absolutely love this crack-resistant resin dinnerware from QSquared NYC. So many beautiful patterns, you have to check them out!

Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing and Avocado Hearts! #valentinesday

Besides grilled romaine and super-cute avocado hearts, I added pomegranate arils for perky sweetness, toasted pecans for nutty crunch, and a creamy homemade Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing that makes the other ingredients in the salad really shine.

This Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing is so simple to make, you just dump everything in a jar and shake it. It’s cool, sweet, and tangy. Perfect for drizzling over crisp romaine.

Making Grilled Romaine Salad + Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing and Avocado Hearts! #valentinesday

Ok, we’ve got grilled romaine. Check!

Homemade Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing. Check!

Cute avocado hearts. Check!

Toasted pecans and fresh pomegranate arils, for color and contrast. Check! Check!

You are on your way to salad euphoria…

Avocado Hearts! #valentinesday

If you need help with separating the pomegranate arils, check out our pomegranate tutorial.

If you don’t have an itty-bitty heart shaped cookie cutter for the avocados, no problem!

Cut a strip of card-stock paper, fold it in half, and tape the open end. Then press one end down toward the other to form a heart. Above I used several disposable paper heart cutters to cut my avocados. You can use each one a couple times on each end before tossing and grabbing another paper heart cutter.

I actually prefer using paper cutters when possible because you can make them any size you want, and adjust the width for skinny or fat hearts.

Grilled Romaine Salad with Avocado Hearts! #valentinesday

So no excuses.

You need to make this Grilled Romaine Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing, and fast. It’s so crunchy, creamy, sweet, and nutty, your mouth will want to send you a Valentine.

Grilled Romaine Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing and Avocado Hearts! #valentinesday

Check out our recipe card below!

Grilled Romaine Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing and Avocado Hearts! #valentinesday
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5 from 4 votes
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Grilled Romaine Salad + Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Grilled Romaine Salad + Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing! This bright crunchy salad made with grilled romaine, toasted pecans, pomegranate and avocado hearts.
Servings: 4


For the Grilled Romaine Salad:

  • 1 head romaine lettuce large, or 2 small
  • 1 cup toasted pecans
  • 1 pomegranate arils removed
  • 3 avocados

For the Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup flavorless oil grapeseed, canola, avocado oil
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • For the Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing: Place all the ingredients in a pint jar and screw the lid on tight. Shake vigorously until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Preheat the grill. Cut the romaine head in half length-wise. Then quickly grill on both sides until char marks form. Remove and roughly chop the romaine.
  • Cut the avocados in half and use a large spoon to scoop out the flesh in one whole piece. Cut in half lengthwise, then use a small heart cookie cutter to cut out hearts.
  • Divide the romaine between 4 plates. Top with pecans, pomegranate arils, and avocado hearts. Drizzle with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing.


Serving: 1g, Calories: 714kcal, Carbohydrates: 55g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 57g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 323mg, Potassium: 1462mg, Fiber: 19g, Sugar: 32g, Vitamin A: 13865IU, Vitamin C: 34.7mg, Calcium: 173mg, Iron: 3.7mg
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier

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20 comments on “Grilled Romaine Salad + Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing”

  1. I love this grilled salad idea. You are really awesome. Thank you for sharing this article.

  2. Pingback: Heart-Shaped Valentine's Day Recipe Ideas That You Should Make -

  3. Pingback: Fun Heart-Shaped Food Ideas For Valentine’s Day! – Comfort Spring

  4. I love the combo of olive oil and Greek yogurt in your dressing. Very light and healthy!

  5. Oh, my gosh…those heart avocados are so cute!!! Love love love this!!!

  6. I’m on board with the avocado love train but the dressing is calling my name too! Can’t wait to try it!

  7. I’m so involve with those avocado hearts!! Beautiful + healthy salad!

  8. Love those avocado hearts!!

  9. What a delicious way to spread the love!

  10. This is the cutest salad ever!! Such a fun idea. I love it!

  11. This is my kind of salad! Love the avocado hearts!

  12. Those are the cutest avocado hearts ever. Yeah, grilled romaine is the best. Love this recipe. Pinned.

  13. I love the hearts! cute food rules – always.

  14. Those avocado hearts are too cute!! Lovely salad!

  15. heart-shaped avocado chunks? you’re my new hero! :)

  16. really pretty salad Sommer- love those avocado hearts!!

  17. Love the avocado hearts! So cute :)

  18. I adore grilled romaine!! And OMG on these avocado hearts!!

  19. Oh my gosh those heart avocados!! Cutest ever!!