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The other day when I was getting a salad made at the cafeteria, I had my pick of greens. I grew up on iceberg, and didn't learn the joys of the slightly bitter Romaine until adulthood. The savory leaf makes such a solid base for any salad, and is a relative of daisies, dandelions, endive and chicory.
Proof of Romaine's early existence involves the presence of a similar-looking lettuce in Egyptian paintings of around 3,000 BC. Romaine then made its way to the Mediterranean and the Middle East, and it got its name from its use in Ancient Rome. The leaves were often used by Syrian gardeners as a naturally occurring spoon with which to each tabouleh and similar foods.
Nutritionally, Romaine lettuce is a great food to put into your diet. A three-ounce serving provides 20% of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. It is also high in folate, which is a B vitamin that maintains the health of your blood cells and helps support your metabolism, as well as vitamin A, which is essential for healthy eyes, bones and teeth, and helps strengthen the body's immunity against infection.
Check out this recipe for Grilled Romaine Lettuce from SimplyRecipes.com, and when you're all done, wipe up any spills with Seventh Generation 100% Recycled Paper Towels, which are whitened without any chemicals, dyes or fragrances.
Grilled Romaine Lettuce Recipe
- Prep time: 10 minutes
- Cook time: 10 minutes
What are romaine hearts? Just the inner leaves of romaine lettuce that stay somewhat tightly together, not the outer leaves.
- 3 to 4 romaine hearts
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar (or cider vinegar)
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Pinch freshly ground black pepper
- Prep the romaine hearts—pull off any old leaves. Chop off the top 1 or 2 inches of the lettuce head, and shave off the browned part of the root end, leaving the root end intact so that the lettuce head stays together.
- Prepare your grill for high, direct heat. Paint the lettuce hearts all over with the vinaigrette. Prepare the vinaigrette. Put the oil, vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk with a fork to combine.
- Grill the romaine hearts until lightly browned on all sides, turning every minute or two until done.
Serve immediately. You can either serve the hearts whole, or chop them and toss them for a salad.
Yield: Serves 3-4.