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Quartered Romaine with Radicchio & Simple Vinaigrette


This quick and easy, yet elegant salad is a life-saver when you are in a hurry or want to make a big impression with little effort.  Use smallish intact romaine hearts (pre-washed, generally sold 3 to a bag).  The spaces between the intact leaves hold vinaigrette beautifully, ensuring a spectrum of taste in every bite.

Can be prepared ahead or taken on a picnic, just be sure to garnish and dress at the last minute.   A bit of radicchio chiffonade for colour, a snip or two of whatever herb is on-hand, and voila! Quarters can be grilled very briefly over high heat (aim for grill marks) just before dressing and serving.  One heart serves four as a side, two as a main (experiment with dresssings, add grilled sliced chicken, steak or seafood)

  • small romaine hearts (pre-washed)
  • small or 1/2-head fresh radicchio
  • snipped baby chives or herb of your choice
  • excellent quality, extra virgin olive oil like Domenica Fiore
  • vinegar of your choice, or lemon juice. Use a 2-oz garnishing bottle for beautiful results

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Trim a very thin slice from the bottom of the core of each romaine head, taking care not to dislodge any of the leaves.  Turn the heart around in your hand and determine its widest point. Lay the heart down so the widest area sits parallel to the chopping board.

Starting at the core end, slide the heart in half as evenly as you can.  Turn the halves on their sides and slice in half again.  Quarters make for perfect sides, and halves can be dressed as a full salad course.

Remove the outer and all soft leaves from the radicchio and chiffonade finely. Remove the core with a sharp knife, if you get that far (you won't need much).  Snip some baby chives or other herb for garnish.

Plate the romaine quarters, alternating ends if you are placing more than one on a plate (a platter of 12 looks simply smashing). Lay some chiffonade of radicchio crosswise.  Drizzle olive oil back and forth across the romaine, in a 'thin' stream.  Do not drown the lettuce.  Drizzle vinegar or lemon juice the same way.  

Pomegranate vinaigretteWe prefer a colourful acid like brick red pomegranate 'vinegar', which can be made by reducing unsweetened (tart) pomegranate juice by half.  Bring to boil on the stove, then simmer for 30-60 minutes, then add a touch of honey at the end (2T honey per litre of juice). The honey gives the 'vinegar' that contrasting touch of sweetness found in balsamic vinegars.

Our 2-oz Boston round garnishing bottle with click-cap is the perfect, precision drizzle tool, as it has a very small opening and is tiny enough to take along in a picnic basket.

Be sure to sprinkle the snipped chives or herbs 'after' the dressing the romaine, so that some of the wee bits stick to the oiled lettuce and look lovely.

Submitted by:

C@H Kitchen