Braised Romaine with Toasted Almonds and Moscatel Syrup

Romaine hearts have a wonderful crunch—even when cooked. Gerald Hirigoyen creates a dressing for them with lightly sweet Moscatel vinegar (made from Moscatel grapes) that's reduced to a honeyed syrup; white balsamic is a less expensive substitute.

Cost: $10.25


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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 10


  • 2 ounces almonds, chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 large romaine lettuce hearts, halved lengthwise
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Moscatel vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Spread the almonds on a pie plate and toast for about 7 minutes, until golden.

  2. In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the shallots and garlic. Cook over moderate heat until lightly browned; scrape into a large roasting pan. Add the butter and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet. Add the romaine, cut side down, and cook over high heat until browned. Transfer to the roasting pan, cut side up; season with salt and pepper. Add the stock to the skillet and bring to a boil; pour over the romaine. Cover with foil, transfer to the oven and braise for 10 minutes, until the romaine is crisp-tender. Transfer to a platter and drizzle with some of the braising liquid.

  3. In a skillet, boil the vinegar until reduced by half. Drizzle over the romaine, garnish with the almonds and cilantro; serve.


The cost of the recipe is based on the amount of each ingredient used.

Contributed By Published January 2009

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