Friday, April 30, 2010

Braised Romaine Lettuce Hearts

Three romaine lettuce hearts per package turn up all the time at my local 99c only Store. That's a lot of salad (see my Cesar Chavez Salad, here) and I seldom use all three hearts, and the guilt of tossing any away is too much. But I found a delicious romaine recipe, from The New York Times Dining & Wine website section, that uses up those extra hearts. I'll be returning to this recipe many times, and if you try it, you will too.

Simple and a breeze to prepare, just slice a head of romaine in half lengthwise, saute in butter or oil for a few minutes, then finish off by braising in vegetable stock for 15 minutes. That's it. Romaine lettuce is slightly bitter, but braising brings out a mild cabbage flavor, and makes for a handsome presentation on your plate.

You can use a whole head of romaine from your local market; just discard any discolored outer leaves. The NYT recipe called for carrots and lemon juice, but I left them out - you can leave them in, of course. Click here to read their version.

This recipe is for my vegetarian friends.

Ingredients (serves 2-4)
  • 2-3 romaine lettuce hearts - you can use a large untrimmed head as well.
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable stock.
  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil or butter.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Slice romaine lettuce heart (or heads) in half, lengthwise. Trim away any brown leaf edges. Thinly slice off brown stem end (don't cut off too much or the romaine leaves will separate from head). Heat oil or butter in large pot or skillet over medium heat, and saute halved romaine cut-side down. Do not turn over until lightly browned, about 5 - 10 minutes. Then turn over, sauteed side up, and add stock. Bring to a low simmer, cover, and cook on low heat for about 15 minutes until tender. Add more stock, as needed, if it cooks away. Finish off by uncovering and reducing stock by half.


Dinahsoar said...

O.K. This is one I'm not gonna try--but I would definitely eat it if someone served it up to me. I'm like that--being a foodie I love most foods. But there are some I'm never gonna cook for myself.

Take liver--as in fried chicken livers. Love the taste, but hate preparing them--too bloody-- and I hate thinking about the function the liver serves in the body and then proceeding to eat it. It's a good thing I don't have to kill my own meat and butcher it--I'd have to be a vegetarian.

But this is a great way to use up and not waste a great food.

99 Cent Chef said...

Hi Dinah, this side veggie dish is quite tender and mild in flavor. I was surprised how tasty it is.

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