Get it? Romaine Calm. Don’t panic! Romaine Calm!
Yu-UM. That’s a two-syllable yum. Grilled/sautéed romaine is so delicious. Lightly browning romaine lettuce brings out this nutty, sweet flavor. It is a perfect winter salad because it is hot (temperature-wise), yet still crunchy and fresh. Garnishing with nuts (really any kind you like) further highlights the nuttiness of the cooked romaine.
Put a tiny bit of butter or olive oil (a scant teaspoon) in a large pan over medium heat. Cut the tip off a romaine heart then cut it in half lengthwise. Put it cut side down in the pan and cook for about 3 minutes until the edges are browned and a little crisped. If you did it over the grill it would take even less time, a minute or so. Remove from pan and drizzle with vinaigrette. The other option is to chop it and then sauté it. The presentation is kind of cool when you leave the romaine heart intact (halved) but if you chop it before sautéing it works just as well.
The vinaigrette is just a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, a splash of white wine vinegar, a splash of extra virgin olive oil, a little salt and a fair amount of pepper.
Garnish with olives and nuts (kalamata and pistachios shown).
Grilled/sautéed/seared romaine is SO GOOD. If you’ve never had it you MUST try it. It will make you think of Romaine as more of an extremely versatile vegetable than just “lettuce”. Romaine lettuce is an excellent source of: vitamins A, C & K, folate, potassium and protein. Protein, you say? In ROMAINE??? Yes! It is true! A head of romaine lettuce has about 7 grams of protein!