Tender Braised Romaine Lettuce
Total time: 35 min
Cooking time: 25 min
Our friends at the Goli restaurant in Budapest serve Romaine lettuce brilliantly: they take a large head of cos lettuce, season it between the leaves, and then char it black on an open-fire grill and serve it with a steak knife plunged into it. Inspired by their way around a simple vegetable, we created a lettuce dish that doesn’t call for a fire-hearted kitchen. You’ll braise the lettuce, infuse it with herbs and season with abandonment. Like any leafy greens, our fresh harvest oil works wonders by rounding the lettuce to give you a harmonising, buttery, and beautifully green side dish.
4 tablespoons Honest Toil extra virgin olive oil
2 generous pinches of flaky salt
cracks of black pepper to taste
300 ml water or broth
1 large or two small heads of Romaine (cos) lettuce
2 cloves garlic
2 stalks celery
3-4 stems flat-leaf parsley
1-2 stems thyme
Prep the vegetables
- Cut the lettuce into quarters (halves if you have smaller ones) lengthways and trim off the ends, ensuring enough is left to hold the leaves together. Run it under water to remove any dirt, shake it to remove excess water. Set aside.
- Cut the onion lengthwise in half, removing the ends. Thinly slice it vertically, from pole to pole, to get small ribbons.
- Thinly slice 2 stalks of celery and 2 cloves of garlic crosswise.
Build a quick vegetable broth with herbs
- In a large frying pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil on medium-low heat. Add the onion and the celery and let it soften for 6-8 minutes. Once translucent, add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Add 300 ml of water or broth and bring it to a boil by increasing the heat. If you added broth, skip the next step.
- Add in the parsley and the thyme, a healthy pinch of sea salt, cover it, and let it simmer until the flat-leaf parsley becomes translucent, 10 minutes. Remove herbs from the broth.
Braise the Romaine lettuce
- Arrange the lettuce cut side down on the brothy onions in a single layer. Cover and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Using kitchen thongs, gently turn over the lettuce wedges and let them cook for 3 more minutes. The core should be knife tender, the leaves bright green.
- Remove the lettuce from the pan and transfer it to a shallow plate. You can keep the broth to make any soup.
- Spoon some brothy veggies over the lettuce. Season with flaky sea salt and black pepper, and drizzle with a couple tablespoons of Honest Toil.