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Thanks to its hearty, crisp texture, romaine, or cos, as it’s also known, is an ideal candidate for grilling or serving with hot dressings and sauces. A crop so old it can be seen in an Egyptian carving, the French coined its modern name because it was grown in the papal gardens in Rome. This green’s mild flavor pairs well with bold ingredients – think buffalo chicken salad.
Peak Season: March through November
How to select: Look for tightly packed heads with crisp, bright green outer leaves.
Price range: $1 to $3 per head
Keep it fresh: Rinse and dry thoroughly, then refrigerate in a plastic bag in a crisper drawer up to 7 days.
Pairs well with: Chicken, eggs, beans, tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, strong-flavored cheeses, avocado, thick dressings like Caesar
Creative uses: Cut heads in half lengthwise, brush with olive oil and grill until browned; drizzle with lemon vinaigrette while hot, then sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.
Nutrition highlights: A 2-cup serving provides 32% of your daily value (DV) of folate, a B vitamin that keeps blood vessels healthy, and when combined with a healthy diet, may reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Romaine is also a very good source of vitamin K, which is known to reduce the risk of bone fractures, particularly in post-menopausal women.