Putting the romaine on a grill will bring out an unexpected gentle smoky flavor, yielding a yummy and easy to prepare dish. It is delightful on its own, as well as a wonderful addition to any type of grilled meat. —QueenSashy
4 first course servings
hearts of romaine
finely grated lemon zest and juice of half lemon
Prepare the white sauce. In a small bowl, mix the crème fraiche with the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic and a touch of salt.
Prepare the black sauce. Put the balsamico in a small skillet or sauce pan, and bring to boil over medium heat. Lower the heat and simmer until reduced to about a third of the original volume. (The reduction will thicken some more as it cools.)
Rinse the romaine and pat dry. If needed, discard the softest outermost leaves and chop off the top two inches of the romaine head. Cut each heart of romaine in half lengthwise, making sure that the root keeps each piece together.
Light a grill, or preheat broiler. Lightly brush the romaine pieces all over with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Grill the romaine hearts until lightly browned in spots, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the romaine to a work surface and let it rest for 2-3 minutes. Chop the romaine coarsely, into two-inch thick strips. Discard the roots.
Arrange the romaine on individual plates and adjust the seasoning. Spoon first the white sauce, and then the black sauce on top of the lettuces. (Spoon carefully, to avoid mixing the sauces.)
Serve immediately, with slices of crusty baguette on the side.
Aleksandra aka QueenSashy is a scientist by day, and cook, photographer and doodler by night. When she is not writing code and formulas, she blogs about food, life and everything in between on her blog, Three Little Halves. Three Little Halves was nominated for 2015 James Beard Awards and the finalist for 2014 Saveur Best Food Blog Awards. Aleksandra lives in New York City with her other two halves, Miss Pain and Dr. V.