Romaine lettuce is the most upright growing of all lettuce types. Its heavily ridged leaves grow erectly and tightly to form an elongated head. Its outer leaves, rich in chlorophyl have lime colors while its inner leaves are yellow to creamy. Its blanched heart becomes translucent white at its core. Romaine lettuce has more texture than flavor. Its leaves are substantial, crunchy and succulent with a mild flavor that allows Romaine lettuce to be a very versatile culinary green and multipurpose ingredient in the kitchen.
Romaine lettuce is available year-round with a peak season in the winter months.
Romaine lettuce, AKA Cos, is a member of the Lactuca genus and the Asteraceae family, and it is the botanical name given to a wide variety of lettuces. Lettuce is categorized into six different types, also known as subspecies or botanical varieties. The six types of lettuce are Crisphead (Iceberg and Batavian), Romaine, Butter, Latin, Leaf and Stem. All lettuce types except for Iceberg occur in red and green leaf form. Romaine lettuce is a ubiquitous lettuce variety that may only be lesser known than Iceberg lettuce, though it provides more flavor, character and nutrition.
Romaine lettuce a very good source of dietary Fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, thiamin, folate, iron, potassium and manganese. Romaine is also low in saturated fat and sodium, and very low in cholesterol. It is also a good source of riboflavin, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and copper.
Romaine lettuce is the quintessential Caesar salad green, yet its uses are not limited to being paired with creamy anchovy dressing, Parmesan cheese and croutons. It can replace Iceberg lettuce atop burgers and sandwiches. It also withstands high heat which makes it suitable for grilling and adding to soups and stir fries. Complimentary ingredients include olive oil, citrus, avocado, chiles, garlic, apples, pears, aged and strong cheeses, olives, grilled steak, smoked fish and chicken, bacon, dried fruit and nuts.