Romaine lettuce is medium to large with an elongated shape and stiff, upright leaves. The thick heads are loosely connected to a central blanched base and the leaves, averaging 10-15 centimeters in length, are broad with many folds and creases. The outer leaves are dark green with a prominent white central rib, and as the leaves grow smaller in the center, they become paler in color almost fading to white. Romaine lettuce is crisp, succulent, and crunchy with a mild, slightly bitter taste.
Romaine lettuce is best suited for both raw and cooked applications such as braising, grilling, and lightly boiling. The leaves can be used fresh and torn for salads, or they can be used as a dipping vessel for sauces, dips, and fillings. They can also be layered on sandwiches, burgers, and wraps for added crunch. In addition to fresh preparations, Romaine lettuce can withstand high heat which makes it suitable for grilling, braising with cooked vegetables and meat, adding to soups, and chopping and mixing into stir-fries. Romaine lettuce pairs well with bulgur wheat, parsley, garlic, chives, tomatoes, roasted red pepper, citrus, avocado, apples, pears, black olives, grilled steak, poultry, tuna, smoked fish, feta cheese, blue cheese, parmesan cheese, and hummus.
The leaves will keep up to one week when wrapped in paper towels to absorb excess moisture and stored in the refrigerator's crisper drawer.