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Romaine Boat Salad

By Mark Mulcahy

Sometimes you find nice surprises when you visit friends for dinner. I was visiting my friend Tammara at the Center of Healing in Idaho Center of Healing a couple weeks back, and ran into just such a simple dinner surprise that I thought would be fun to pass on as you are thinking of dinner ideas this winter.
Image of Organic Romaine Hearts
It’s made from my favorite lettuce variety – Organic Romaine. I love it, as it may be the most versatile lettuce there is. Its strong ribs and hearty leaves give it superior storage ability, and it holds up to heavy salad treatments like the Caesar. But did you know it’s good cooked? Melissa’s organic Romaine can be cut lengthwise, brushed with olive oil and grilled until golden brown. If you haven’t tried this, you are in for a treat. The French and Chinese like it braised and in soups and it’s a great way to use leftover lettuce. When selecting romaine, choose heads with plenty of dark green wrapper leaves; these are highest in nutrients, particularly vitamin A and folate. Rinse dirty lettuce before storing and wrap the leaves in paper towels, and store in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Also known as cos lettuce, romaine has been around a very long time. Wild lettuce grows across North America, Asia, Europe and North Africa, but lettuce as we know it is said to be from India and Central Asia, where it was cultivated as early as 4500 BC. The Egyptians and Romans particularly loved romaine. Egyptian tombs were often stocked with romaine as an offering to the god Min; and the calming, restorative qualities of lettuce are said to have cured the Roman Emperor Augustus.

This Romaine Boat Salad can cure your winter blues as well!

Romaine Boat Salad

Wash Melissa’s Organic Romaine Heart leaves
Place on a favorite serving platter
Add a couple of thin slices of Melissa’s Organic Hass Avocado laid lengthwise to each leaf
Sprinkle Grated Parmesan on top of each leaf
Drizzle with your favorite aged Balsamic Vinegar
Fresh Raspberries can be added on top for color and a touch of sweetness (optional)

Serve with some baked organic russets and a nice baked delicata squash and you've got one tasty meal!
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