Original Recipe

Event: Tapas with Rhonda & Robin

garlicky lettuce hearts

Cogollos al Ajillo, or “garlicky lettuce hearts”

Lettuce hearts with garlic "Lechuga al ajillo"

Romain lettuce hearts with a garlicky oil & vinegar dressing that is eaten with your fingers.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 12 servings


  • 2 whole Romaine lettuce hearts
  • white wine vinegar
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • olive oil
  • salt


  • Cut off a thin slice of the sometimes discolored stem, making sure to keep the stem intact so the lettuce layers do not separate.
  • Cut the lettuce hearts into quarters, wash and pat dry.
  • Arrange the pieces on a plate forming a circle with stems out.
  • Mince the garlic and heat several tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and when hot add 4 or 5 cloves of minced garlic.
  • Meanwhile, while watching the garlic so it does not burn, drizzle at least a tablespoon of white wine vinegar over the lettuce hearts and then sprinkle on a pinch of salt.
  • When the garlic is a golden toasted color, remove from heat and immediately pour over the lettuce hearts, with some of the olive oil that now has a wonderful garlic flavor infused in it. Drizzle on more extra virgin olive oil if needed and it’s ready to serve.


Make this dish last and serve immediately so the lettuce stays crisp. The lettuce can then be picked up by the stem, no utensils necessary. Enjoy!
Prepared by Randy and Kim at Tapas with Rhonda & Robin.

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