Pan-fried lettuce…that sounds crazy, right? The idea that you’d take a vegetable traditionally served chilled, a vegetable that’s typically consumed along with an assortment of garnishments designed mostly to hide the flavor, and intentionally heat it, wilt it, and season it only with ingredients intended to enhance it’s natural flavor.
Well, call me crazy, because I love this stuff. It’s such a unique, quick, and inexpensive side dish. The romaine is seasoned only with the garlic-infused olive oil, salt, and pepper. It’s pan-fried at high heat, so the romaine gets hot and wilted without losing it’s natural crunch.
You could throw in any spices you like, but I prefer to keep it simple. I tend to crave crunchy, salty foods and, while I won’t try to pretend this lettuce is a substitute for potato chips, it does fill a little of that void.
pan-fried romaine lettuce
2 heads of romaine lettuce, washed
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed but not chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Heat oil and garlic in a heavy pan over medium-high heat (a cast iron skillet works best for this). If your stove cooks hot, like mine, use medium heat instead. Meanwhile, pull the leaves off the romaine, stack them, and cut into one inch sections.
Once oil is hot- like, popping hot- and garlic is browning, add lettuce. You’ll want to drop all the lettuce in at once, because it’ll make the oil pop. If the pan is full of lettuce, it won’t pop out and onto you. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and use tongs or a spatula to toss the romaine around, letting it wilt down.
Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until lettuce has wilted a little and browned in spots. Transfer cooked romaine to a plate, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired, and serve immediately.
What do you think of cooking lettuce?
Want more vegetable recipes? Check out my no clean-up baked garlic green beans or my parmesan & panko crusted baked vegetables.
The headline certainly grabbed my attention! I HAVE to try this, never heard of pan fried lettuce before. It sounds and looks delish!
Thanks, Barbara! I hope you love! You’ll have to let me know what you think 😉
Allison N. says
Thanks, Allison! I hope you try it!
Anu-My Ginger Garlic Kitchen says
Fried lettuce? Wow! Looks and sounds incredible! AWESOME share!
Thank you! It really is delicious!
people always talk about this – I should really try it! thanks for sharing 🙂
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Thank you, Tianna! You really should!
Angela Tolsma says
I never would have thought to pan fry lettuce! I will definitely have to try this for summer dinner soon!
Let me know what you think when you try it, Angela!
Sam @ PancakeWarriors says
I’ve never tried romaine like this – sounds awesome!!
It is! Give it a try!
This sounds so good and healthy. I wish I had some Romaine to try it.
It’s pretty tasty! I hope you get a chance to try it!
I can’t wrap my head around this! Does it taste anything like cabbage? Do some lettuces work better than others? Thanks for sharing at Food & Fitness Friday!
I might compare the texture to cabbage, but not the taste. I’ve only ever tried it with romaine. I think other varieties might wilt down too much. The romaine really holds up to the heat.