FitFitBanner Images

Kitchen Wisdom Kitchen Wisdom

Romaine-ing the Stove

October 28th, 2010 - By Lari Robling

Share on Tumblr

One of the nice things — that makes up for shoveling snow — is that when you live where there are four distinct seasons, your daily menu changes along with your wardrobe. While I miss the fresh corn and tomatoes I will appreciate them when they make their reappearance at the farmer’s market. And some changes are in the technique rather than the ingredient. Take romaine lettuce, for example. In the summer it is a salad staple, but don’t think it has to relegated to Caesar salad all winter. Have you ever tried braised romaine? It’s a delicious way to eat your greens, but far more comforting as our taste moves from light and fresh to heartier fare. I think it tastes a little bit like fresh asparagus.

Here’s all you do. Take a head of romaine, rinse it and dry it and cut it half lengthwise. It’s good to keep all the leaves attached at the bottom, but not to fret if you don’t. You can cook both halves or keep one half for salads but just remember it will cook down considerably as spinach does. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat and put the cut side of the lettuce on the pan. It will sizzle and that’s good. After you get a good sear, turn and repeat on the other side. Add about a quarter cup of broth or water, reduce heat to simmer and put the lid on. Check to make sure your liquid doesn’t disappear completely. In about ten minutes the romaine should be cooked down.If there is more liquid in the pan, take the lid off and allow it to cook down. You can dress it with a little more olive oil and a grating of cheese or whatever seasoning you like.

Don’t forget other lettuces take well to cooking such as bibb and even iceberg. Think Asian and try making steamed lettuce bundles.

Comments are closed.

Photo by Flicker user Yolise / CC BY-NC 2.0

About Lari Robling
Lari Robling's food career had its early beginnings as a home ec teacher for the visually impaired. Later, she decided to become a food professional and worked for caterers and restaurants. Lari landed her first job in a test kitchen for a small health food publication, Delicious! magazine. From there, she began a freelance career as a food stylist and food consultant. She is also the author of Endangered Recipes: Too Good to Be Forgotten.

Watch the replay!

WEBCHAT: Is the Glass Half Full or Empty?

How many soft drinks are too many for kids? Join Chef Ann Cooper as we chat about sugary beverages in schools.

More webchats »

December 2014
« Jun    

Philly Food Bucks!
Philly Food Bucks are coupons that help ACCESS/food stamp customers save money on fruits and vegetables. Philly Food Bucks can be redeemed for $2 worth of fruits and vegetables for every $5 spent in ACCESS/food stamps at a participating farmers' market. Learn more about Philly Food Bucks at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health's recently expanded web site Food Fit Now also accepted at the West Oak Lane Weaver's Way Food Coop.

Get Healthy Philly is part of the Communities Putting Prevention to Work Initiative, a federal effort to: prevent and delay chronic disease, reduce risk factors, promote wellness in children and adults, and provide positive sustainable health change in our communities.

Food Fit Philly is part of Get Healthy Philly, a program that works to reduce and prevent obesity and related chronic diseases (like heart disease and diabetes) by increasing access to healthy foods that people can afford.

Your body needs help when it's time to quit. SmokeFree Philly is a program of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health that offers support and tools to help smokers quit. The goal of SmokeFree Philly is to: help people to quit smoking, stop people from starting to use tobacco, and reduce heart disease, cancer and other illnesses caused by smoking.

Got a question for Fit? Want to submit your own "fit and fresh" recipe? Have a good story idea for us?

Contact us at