Grilled Romaine Salad + Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

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 video tutorial!

Grilled Romaine Salad + Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

Yield: 4

Prep Time:15 minutes

Cook Time:5 minutes

5 / 5 (4 Reviews)
Did you make this recipe?   Leave a review »

Grilled Romaine Salad + Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing! This bright crunchy salad made with grilled romaine, toasted pecans, pomegranate and avocado hearts.


For the Grilled Romaine Salad:

  • 1 large or 2 small heads of romaine lettuce
  • 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 fresh grated onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Divide the romaine between 4 plates. Top with pecans, pomegranate arils, and avocado hearts. Drizzle with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 4, Serving Size: 4

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 479 Calories
  • Total Fat: 34.6g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.1g
  • Sodium: 338mg
  • Carbohydrates: 43.5g
  • Fiber: 10.4g
  • Sugar: 26.7g
  • Protein: 7.9g
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17 comments on “Grilled Romaine Salad + Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

  1. Shelby @ Go Eat and Repeatposted January 26, 2015 at 2:33 pm Reply

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

    Rating: 5
  2. Juliana Waltersposted January 22, 2015 at 7:22 pm Reply


    Rating: 5
  3. Jocelyn @BruCrew Lifeposted January 22, 2015 at 11:13 am Reply

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

  4. Betty Lynneposted January 22, 2015 at 9:20 am Reply

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

  5. marlaposted January 22, 2015 at 8:46 am Reply

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

  6. Tieghanposted January 21, 2015 at 11:28 pm Reply

    Love those avocado hearts!!

    Rating: 5
  7. Mariaposted January 21, 2015 at 6:47 pm Reply

    What a delicious way to spread the love!

  8. Stephanie @ Long Distance Bakingposted January 21, 2015 at 5:45 pm Reply

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

    Rating: 5
  9. Gabyposted January 21, 2015 at 4:13 pm Reply

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

  10. Jennie @themessybakerblogposted January 21, 2015 at 4:11 pm Reply

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

  11. naomiposted January 21, 2015 at 12:59 pm Reply

    I love the hearts! cute food rules – always.

  12. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugarposted January 21, 2015 at 12:42 pm Reply

    Those avocado hearts are too cute!! Lovely salad!

  13. graceposted January 21, 2015 at 12:20 pm Reply

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

  14. Heather Christoposted January 21, 2015 at 10:57 am Reply

    really pretty salad Sommer- love those avocado hearts!!

  15. Amandaposted January 21, 2015 at 10:34 am Reply

    Love the avocado hearts! So cute :)

  16. lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountainposted January 21, 2015 at 9:41 am Reply

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

  17. Jenny Flakeposted January 21, 2015 at 8:58 am Reply

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