Hearts of Romaine Salad -- Some Unlikeky Pairings

Gary Hancq


I recently discovered the magical pairing of Balsamic Vinegar and Blue Cheese. The pairing may seem unlikely at first, but the diversity of the sweet pungent pairing provides a burst of flavorful goodness. I like the crispness and crunch of the heart of romaine stalks, and the chewy and crunchy additives add to the offering. As equally enticing would be the substitution of baby spinach leaves and/or micro greens for the romaine, as well as, substituting soft goat cheese for the blue cheese. Either way family and friends will ask for a repeat at table.

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15 Min


No-Cook or Other


heart of romaine lettuce head
balsmaic vinegar
blue cheese
assorted additives -- raisins, crasins, pecans or walnuts, sliced strawberrys and/or mandarin oranges.

Directions Step-By-Step

Rinse and slice the heart of romaine lengthwise. 1/4 to 1/3 of the head provides for a normal ample serving. Slicing lengthwise initially insures an equal amount of crisp stalk for each serving.
I then slice the 1/4 to 1/3 portion crosswise the width of a finger. Or you could serve the portion whole for presentation. Here I have cut the head in 1/4ths.
I always buy and prefer the cakes of blue cheese rather than the crumbled variety so that sizable chunks can be sliced and offered. Here I have sliced 1/4 of the head of Romaine to thickness of a finger. For a single ample serving. Toss to distribute the lower stalky portion and greener top leafs.
Add your blue cheese to the romaine along with the other additives of your choice. I like a mix of chewy and crunchy additives such as: Raisins (Dark or Golden or both), Craisins (the dried Cranberries), and Walnuts or Pecans. Slivered Almonds and/or Sunflower seeds would also work fine. In addition sliced Strawberries, Grapes cut in half or Mandarin Oranges can be added to the medley. Also diced apples or pears would be a welcomed addition. What other additives can you think of? Make it your own.
Drizzle the salad with a liberal sprinkling of Balsamic Vinegar and serve with crackers or breads of your choice, this is an excellent accompaniment to a red meat dish. I make a meal of this offering and require nothing else. A hearty Red Wine would pair well with this salad. 1/4th of the head filled the plate for a single serving. Happy Cooking, Gary

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Lettuce Salads
Main Ingredient: Vegetable
Regional Style: American