Braised Romaine with Red Wine Vinegar

Preparation info

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Appears in

Lighter, Quicker, Better: Cooking for the Way We Eat Today

Lighter, Quicker, Better

By Richard Sax and Marie Simmons

Published 2000

  • About

This dish is made with cooked romaine lettuce, a green usually seen only in salads. Since only the dark outer leaves are used, the pale heart can be saved for a salad at another meal. The dish is especially good with broiled or baked fish. Escarole can be cooked the same way.


  • 1 large head romaine lettuce (about 2 pounds)
  • Ā½ garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar, or more to taste
  • Pinch of salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


    • Pull the dark green outside leaves from the romaine, leaving the pale green heart intact. Reserve the heart for a salad. Stack the outer leaves in manageable bundles. Starting at the stem end, cut leaves crosswise 1 inch wide. Gradually increase the width to about 2 inches at the tips. Wash in plenty of cool water. Place in a colander and drain. You should have about 12 cups of packed greens.
    • Place the romaine in a large heavy saucepan, with just the water that clings to the leaves. Cover and cook over medium-high heat until leaves have cooked down, about 5 minutes. Stir. Continue to cook, covered, until leaves are tender, stems are crisp-tender, and some of the liquid in the bottom of the pan has cooked down slightly, 2 or 3 minutes longer.
    • Rub a serving bowl with the cut side of the garlic, then discard it. Add olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper, whisking to blend. Transfer the romaine to a serving bowl, toss, and serve immediately. This is also good at room temperature.