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Braised Romaine with Toasted Almonds and Moscatel Syrup

  • TOTAL TIME: 35 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 10
  • FAST
  • VEGETARIAN

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

  1. 2 ounces almonds, chopped
  2. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  4. 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  5. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  6. 5 large romaine lettuce hearts, halved lengthwise
  7. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  8. 1 cup chicken stock
  9. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Moscatel vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
  10. 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  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.
Notes The cost of the recipe is based on the amount of each ingredient used.