Thursday, November 10, 2011

Can You Cook Romaine?

In our first pick-up from Bountiful Baskets we received an whole head of romaine lettuce.  Matt and I do not eat lettuce, or salads at all really.  It is sort of a running joke actually.  "We know we are meant to be together because we're the only two vegetarians in the world that don't eat salad."  I force myself to keep trying every now and again, but I've yet to enjoy it. 

So....what were we going to do with this thing?  Give it away?  Or could you cook it?  I mean, just because people usually don't doesn't necessarily mean you can't, right?  I wonder....

So, internet search engines to the rescue.  I found this recipe:  Chickpea and Romaine Soup with Golden Vermicelli.   And I even managed to follow it almost to the letter!  I nearly talked myself out of browning the pasta because it seemed a little unnecessary and more complicated to me, but then I thought I might as well give the recipe a fair shot as written.  Who knows...maybe that is what makes it incredible.  And you know what?  It think it was.  Those noodles tasted so, so, so good.  Matt said it reminded him of chicken noodle soup.

My only deviations from the recipe were:
#1 I used a whole head of Romaine, cut out the thick, white ribs, and chopped it very fine in the food processor.  (I've found that cutting something into tiny bits is the best way to train myself to like something.  It makes it less noticeable.)
#2 I used whole wheat pasta instead of vermicelli because that is what I had.
#3 I used vegetable stock instead of chicken.

I was pretty darn impressed with the whole thing.  It tasted great and I found a way to enjoy lettuce.  Win-win.

9 comments:

  1. I would think that you could add any shredded or chopped lettuce to vegetable soups of any sort but the recipe you found and made sounds like a keeper.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Why can't you just chop or grind some into everything you eat. My daughter makes Italian Wedding Soup with spinach in it.

    No salad? No eating Romaine? Blasphemy! LOL Yes, I suppose you do belong together on those counts.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, interesting, and sounds yummy. I've heard of grilling romaine, but have never tried it any other way than cold in a salad. Might have to be more adventurous myself!
    -Jaime

    ReplyDelete
  4. Becky - I think we are going to try that. When it cooked down it really didn't seem all that different than say, chard or spinach.

    Linda- My friend came over Friday night and while Matt and I made chili and cornbread she made up a salad. And Matt and I both ate a small plate full. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't good. Oh, you should have seen Matt's face on the first bite. I took photos, but he made me promise not to post them. : )

    Jamie- It really was excellent. You'll have to let me know if you end up using it in some deliciously nontraditional way.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I made a soup once with lettuce in it - it got so slimy, in my opinion. It's more delicate than chard or spinach.

    I would love to talk salad with you! What about taco salad, where lettuce is a small element? Or I make a salad with cornbread crumbled in it (you love your grains!) There's also a French lentil salad that's eaten on a bed of greens - sauteed or not, depends how much time I have.

    I'm so impressed that you keep plugging away!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Have you ever tried "spring rolls"? Now that I'm thinking of it, crispy lettuce is delicious in those. And if you're not opposed to eating the lettuce cold in its raw state, you could also use it as a wrap for different fillings...

    Jaime

    ReplyDelete
  7. Margo- Hmmmmm....you might be on to something. Maybe I need to take the salad focus off the green, at least at the start of my salad eating career, and put it on the extras. The cornbread idea is intriguing....I DO love my grains! : )

    Also, I could see the lettuce leaves getting slimy, but I didn't have the experience this time. I pureed up the leaves into such tiny flecks that they didn't really have much of a texture that I recall.

    Jamie- That was suggested to me actually, but I confess I didn't consider it long. Here is the story with me and lettuce: I don't care for cold things that are of the savory end of things, like sushi, potato salad, lettuce salad, gazpacho, cole slaw, etc. I like my cold things on the sweet end of things, like yogurt, apple sauce, pudding, fruit, etc. There are few exceptions: I enjoy salsa and hummus at room temperature. Also, raw carrots and bell peppers are fine cold (though those are both arguably sweet).

    Whew....I feel crazier just writing it out....

    No, really, it is a dietary shortcoming I am working to hurdle. But, slowly.....very slowly.

    The best salad I've had was one of spinach, dried fruits and nuts, and a fruit vinaigrette. It was more fruity than green. And sweet, which I really think helped.

    ReplyDelete
  8. That is a strange thing about your dislikes and likes. You can just make fruit salad and add the greens there. I love raspberry vinaigrette. Besides, spinach is not a strong taste in a salad. I use spinach on sandwiches with tomatoes and whatever. Of course, my "whatever" is usually chicken, turkey, bacon, of beef.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think spinach will be the key to my starting to eat raw greens. It seems so mild.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and ideas. I value the advice and friendship that you share with me!