Great Caesar’s Ghost!

Share this post

By Heidi Lewis

The romaine lettuce in your TakeHome case this week is a stand-up lettuce. It is characterized by its narrow, crisp leaves of course texture and distinctive thick ribs. Romaine is sometimes referred to as “Cos Salad” by Queen’s English speakers, as it’s thought to have originated from Kos Island in the Aegean Sea. It makes sense that the bright sun and sandstone landscape would produce such an upright lettuce.

Romaine is a member of the daisy family (Asteraceae). Along with chicory, endive, and dandelion, it has a telltale milky substance called lactucarium that you find when breaking its white stems. This substance has opiate attributes that were prized by ancient Romans and can be made into tinctures with a somnolent effect. It can only be procured in any useful quantity or strength from wild lettuces (Lactuca virosa) or the stems of the old lettuce plants that have bolted and are near seed. The lettuce heads in your TakeHome box are too tender and young to make you sleepy.

caesar_saladThe heart of romaine is the treasured part. The white interior spines coarsely chopped along with shreds of the dark green leaf can stand up to many distinctive dressings. For the classic Caesar salad, the leaves are left whole. Restaurateur Caesar Cardini is credited with inventing the Caesar salad in Tijuana in the mid-1920s, but some food historians contend that Chicago-based cook Giacomo Junia came up with it first in 1903. Regardless, it was Cardini who gave the table-side salad-tossing show that made Caesar the salad to have at Cafe Trocadero in Hollywood and other hip hot spots then and since.

Preparation: Split leaves apart under running water and blot dry. Chop (or not) and dress with a hearty dressing. Can be grilled.

Storage: Wrap in a moist paper towel, place in a plastic bag in the crisper section of the fridge, and use within three days.

 

Subscribe to the WEEKLY BITE

* indicates required

 

Recent Food articles:

History of the tomato
April 18, 2019
How to prepare Ataulfo mango
April 4, 2019
Making the most of citrus season
February 14, 2019
Three hearty soup recipes you can enjoy all month
February 4, 2019
Tempting winter fruits to brighten your weekly mix
January 31, 2019
Easy meal prep recipes you can eat all week
January 7, 2019
How to make latkes and applesauce
December 6, 2018
The food history of Thanksgiving
November 22, 2018
Winter and summer oranges
August 23, 2018
How to make vegetarian sushi at home
August 7, 2018

More recent articles:

Best onboarding practices
May 21, 2019
Quick, easy steps to spruce up your office space
May 14, 2019
Grilled portobello recipe
May 9, 2019
How to prepare physically and mentally for race day
May 9, 2019
Three simple ways to enjoy watermelon radishes
May 2, 2019
Beehives, swales, and vermicomposting, oh my!
April 29, 2019
Easy spring salad recipe
April 25, 2019
Reduce plastic use with these earth-friendly alternatives
April 22, 2019
Spring fruit varieties and how to enjoy them
April 16, 2019
How to make sure you’re getting enough iron in your diet
April 11, 2019

About Us

Our online magazine offers a taste of workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. It features recipes for easy, delicious work meals and tips on quick office workouts. It's also an opportunity to learn about our GoodWorks program, which helps those in need in our communities and supports small, sustainable farms.