Grilled Romaine Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing | Salad On Sundays


August 19, 2019

The House Magazine

An overhead shot of romaine lettuce heads sliced in half and grilled with several different toppings and slices of limes.

First, I apologize there was no Salad on Sundays post last weekend. We’ve had a few very busy weekends over the last couple of weeks. Family from out of town traveled here from Illinois to visit our new little nephew. Then we traveled to South Dakota to see some more family all while trying to move into our temporary house. It was a great reason to take a step away from blogging for a bit, but I couldn’t wait to share this Grilled Romaine Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing with you guys. It’s definitely one you should try before summer ends! This recipe is clean, it’s easy, and it’s so so good. After testing it out on my family, Eric said he could eat it everyday, so I knew it was a winner.

I wanted to give you guys something different from the first couple recipes posted during this Salad on Sundays series, so I went with Mexican inspired flavors. Grilled romaine is so much fun in the summer. It takes an ordinary salad and turns it into something special with the added flavor and caramelization from the grill. I have a love for pickled onions on tacos, so I wanted to try it here – and I’m so glad I did! The mix between the pickled shallot, cotija cheese and southwest seasoned corn gives this salad the perfect balance between sweet and savory. It’s seriously awesome. 

Speaking of sweet, a touch of it was needed to create the dressing and the pickled shallots. To keep things clean, I replaced the use of sugar with honey and it worked really well for both. When a recipe turns out this delicious without refined sugar, it reinforces my love for cooking clean. It’s amazing how food can taste just as good or even better using natural sweeteners. I’ll stop there before I’m completely on top of the soap box. Anyway, this is one of my favorite recipes I’ve created for The House of Perez. Please do give it a try!

Close up shot of a half a romaine lettuce head topped with corn, slice cherry tomatoes and onion.
Close up of salad with sliced cherry tomatoes.
An overhead view of romaine lettuce heads cut in half with corn, cherry tomatoes and onion.

Grilled Romaine Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing

Grilled romaine hearts topped with a summery mix of Mexican ingredients. The combination from the pickled shallot, southwest seasoned corn and the creamy cilantro dressing is the perfect balance between sweet and savory. Made with zero added sugar and completely clean ingredients. 

  • Author: The House of Perez
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes



Grilled Romaine

  • 2 romaine hearts, cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp (or more) olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Cilantro Dressing

  • 1 cup cilantro, loosely packed
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 12 tbsp honey, to taste

The Pickled Shallots

  • 12 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 2 tsp salt

Remaining Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp southwest seasoning
  • 3 ears of corn
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 12 limes


  1. Add all of the ingredients to pickle the shallots in a bowl. Whisk until completely mixed. Add sliced shallots to a bowl and set aside for at least 30 minutes to an hour.
  2. Prepare the corn by mixing the southwest seasoning and ghee together in a small bowl. Smear the butter onto the ears of corn, wrap each ear and place it them on a grill wrack in high heat for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Add all of the ingredients for the salad dressing into a food processor. Mix until completely smooth. Add a little water if the dressing is too thick. Pour into a small serving bowl and set aside.
  4. Slice romaine hearts in half. Pull loose leaves off of the hearts. Drizzle the tablespoon of olive oil on the four pieces, and sprinkle sea salt on top. Set aside.
  5. Remove the corn from the grill and let cool. Once it cools, cut the corn off of the cob into a dish.
  6. Slice the cherry tomatoes. Dice the remaining half of avocado. Slice the lime into quarters, or smaller. Set these ingredients aside.
  7. Place each half of the romaine hearts, cut-side down, on the grill for about two minutes, or until the cut-side is slightly caramelized but the inside is still crisp. Transfer these to a platter.
  8. Drizzle the dressing onto each of the romaine hearts and add the diced avocado, sliced tomato, corn and pickled shallot on the top of each heart. Crumble the cotija cheese onto the salad and squeeze a slice of lime to finish the plate.


  • Pickle the onions ahead of time and keep them in a mason jar, refrigerated for up to two weeks. 
  • If the dressing is too thick, try adding a little water instead of more oil. More oil could easily make the dressing bitter. 
  • This is a fun dish to let your guests serve themselves so they can decide on the amount of each ingredient.
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