Have you ever prepared grilled romaine lettuce? If you haven't, well it's about time! Grilling lettuce might seem a bit funny but not just any kind of lettuce is perfect for that. Romaine lettuce is juicy, heavenly crisp and has a pretty thick 'heart' in the center. You can cut the lettuce in half lengthwise and the leaves won't fall apart. It looks a bit like endives now that I think of it. That makes it outstanding for grilling or baking. I highly suggest to brown the romaine lettuce using as little oil as possible. Only lightly brush the cut surface. The lettuce heart comes in direct contact with the hot bottom of the dry pan which causes the natural sugars in the lettuce to caramelize and turn brown.
It needs very little time to bake. The romaine lettuce leaves have to stay crunchy. When they go soft the grilled romaine lettuce looses much of its charm. It's a surprising recipe, pretty easy to make and definitely worth a place in our top 5 ranking of easy side dish recipes. By the way, romaine lettuce is also one of the main ingredients of the famous caesar salad. Just saying...
Ingredients for 4 persons
2 heads romaine lettuce
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp vinegar
a small handful unsalted pistachio nuts
Remove the discolored stems of the lettuce. Cut both in half lengthwise.
Thoroughly wash the lettuce but keep the attached leaves intact. Drain well. Combine the olive oil and vinegar. Season with a little pepper and salt to taste. Lightly brush the cut side of the romaine lettuce with this dressing. Heat a non-stick pan over high heat. Don't add any oil. When the pan is hot add the lettuce cut side down.
Let it brown and caramelize for 3 minutes in the dry pan. Don't turn the lettuce. In the meantime crush the unsalted pistachio nuts using a meat mallet or under the blade of a knife. Remove the grilled lettuce and transfer it onto a serving plate. Brush lightly with the remaining olive oil dressing. Sprinkle with a little pepper and salt to taste. Top with the crushed pistachio nuts. Serve the lettuce immediately while still lukewarm.