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Aug 17, 2011 06:47 PM

Use for very bitter Romaine?

Anybody have any suggestions for what to do with the very bitter baby Romaine lettuce I recently got from my CSA? While we happily cook and eat bitter greens (broccoli rabe is a favorite), we don't generally go for it much in salads. We keep kosher, so wilting it with a bacon-y dressing is out.

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  1. Just because we're used to using romaine as a salad green in the USA does not preclude it from cooking. Use it as a substitute for another bitter green, escarole, in Italian prepartions. Braised escarole with white beans is one example, another would be to include the(cooked) bitter romaine in a ravioli filling. A tomato sauce, such as Marcella Hazan's Tomato-Butter Sauce, could help to soften the bitterness. You could also treat it in a Southern US fashion, braising it with smoked turkey legs (instead of bacon).

    1. I blanche and serve warm (not hot)with lemon and olive oil salt and pepper. Add good olives, I buy mixed from an olive bar,capers ,red onion etc .

      1. Blanching sounds good. Also you could wilt it with hot olive oil. I think a few garlic cloves, a few blanched almonds and some hot olive oil with your fave vinegar would be fine to wilt it if you wanted to do that. Add some sliced eggs to it.

          Grilled Caesar Salad is yummy! The lettuce caramelizes a bit.

          1 Reply
          1. As an apartment dweller, I am sadly without a grill, although the grilled Caesar concept sounds really cool. Instead, I seized on the excellent suggestion to treat it like escarole, and made a pasta with romaine, arugula, and white beans that came out very nicely.

            1 Reply
            1. re: GilaB

              Do You have a grill pan? I've successfully grilled romaine for salads on a VERY hot grill pan. Works better with smaller romaine hearts.