seared lettuce with yogurt dressing and pomegranate

Lettuce can be more exciting than you think! Learn to love it!

Little Gems!

I know it is January and it’s more soup, stew, casserole and pie weather, but we still need to get our vegetables in for those all important vitamins and minerals. Now, I would not usually recommend what I am going to, but this is too good not to do!

Why lettuce though?

There is a food sharing app called Olio (check it out) and being a #FoodSavvy person, I am often on there saving food from going to waste. Usually the food is collected from shops, just past its best before date, or in damaged packaging, sometimes just end of line they can’t get rid of.

Anyway, since New Year, there has been an excess of Little Gem Lettuces. Now, this is one lettuce I do eat (it was my late Mum’s favourite). However, I would usually only have 3 or 4 leaves. This week, another Olier kindly dropped some spare lettuce at mine… spare as in 6 twin packs! Hence the experiments began!

little gem lettuce with beans
Seared little gems with beans, tomatoes and minty yogurt dip

The Little Gem Recipe

The main ingredient here, yes, you guessed it, is Little Gem lettuce! Now, you can add whatever you like to it once it’s cooked! Add your favourite dressing, maybe a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, tahini or olive oil. Then add some tasty toppings! Nuts and seeds work well, so do pomegranate seeds. Or make a sauce to dip them in, try a minty yogurt or a spiced mayonnaise.

lettuce halves with nuts
Serve with tahini dressing, toasted nuts & seeds

Too easy to need a recipe, all you do is check the outer leaves over and tear off any bits you’d rather not eat. Slice down the middle (it’s easier if you keep the stalks intact). Heat a bit of your favourite oil (I used a spray of Olive oil), then pop the halves, cut side down in the pan. Cook for a couple of minutes, turn over, repeat. Eat. Enjoy!

What do I need?

You can (as with most of my recipes), make these as easy or complicated as you wish! I created this recipe to use up as many lettuces as I could (I think I ended up with about 50 lettuces in the end)! Yes, fifty! Have them for lunch, or dinner, a starter, a side or even a snack.

If you are new to cooking or your kitchen needs a refresh, here are a few useful things for this recipe. I receive a small commission if you click and purchase through these links (this is at no additional cost to you)!


You can serve these just as they are, or try topping with easy chickpeas or dipping in houmous or an aubergine dip. You could just lightly toast some crushed nuts and sprinkle those over, or even grate your favourite cheese over the top.

lettuce with dip and seeds
Serve the seared lettuce with dips & toppings


These need to be eaten as soon as they are cooked. However, they only take a couple of minutes to prepare, so just cook them as you need them! The lettuces themselves should keep long past their best before date if kept cool! Use your own judgement here and peel off a couple of outer leaves if necessary.

little gem lettuce with pomegranate
Serve with a yogurt dressing, pomegranate seeds and a sprinkle of sesame


I really hope you get past the ‘but you’re cooking lettuce!’ stage and try these delicious gems! I love seeing your adaptions and interpretations of my recipes and I’d love to see what you serve your lettuces with.

If you’re making or adapting any of my recipes, please share and tag me @LifeDietHealth or using #LifeDietHealth on InstagramPinterest,  Facebook or Twitter.

Leave me a comment below… I love to chat!

I hope to speak with you soon

Laurena x

ps. Thinking of you this weekend (you know who you are). xxx


  • tulips79 6th January 2022 at 19:49

    Hi Laurena, I’ve always liked lettuce- little gems are one of my faves (along with its older sibling Romaine lol and the butter/round type). I tried braised lettuce a while back but I wasn’t a big fan of the texture or even taste (sorry☺️). I’ll stick to the crisp salad form 😋 I think it’s genius you adding sesame seeds: as much as I like them, I’ve never thought of adding them to lettuce x

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 6th January 2022 at 20:30

      Eva, I almost wrote you could do this with Romaine too, but thought they’re too big! Braised lettuce is a no for me too, although I do like braised chinese cabbage – as that still has bite. This is completely different! 😊 You only cook these for a few minutes and they still hold their shape so you can pick them up! You really should try it👍🏼 How have you never put sesame seeds on lettuce though (not even on lettuce wraps?)

      • tulips79 6th January 2022 at 21:07

        Ok, will send a pic next time I have little gems (that sounds a bit funny knowing you had loads of the stuff hehe). It’s a mystery about the sesame seeds lol 😀

        • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 6th January 2022 at 21:10

          Guess how many I had for lunch today🙈🤣

          • tulips79 6th January 2022 at 21:27

            6-8? Is that not even close?😁

          • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 6th January 2022 at 21:33

            🎉⭐Perfect guess👍🏼 that’s a lot of halves🙈🤣

          • tulips79 6th January 2022 at 21:43

            Well, your vitamin K stores should last a while! (hopefully)☺️

          • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 10th January 2022 at 11:27

            Haha… maybe! One lettuce is over the UK RDA (recommended daily amount) of Vitamin K, although the body is not so great at storing it.

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