Romaine lettuce is a variety of lettuce that grows in tall heads that have sturdy leaves with firm white ribs. Romaine lettuce originated in Italy, specifically Rome (hence the name!). It’s grown widely, in part because of its heat tolerance (most leafy greens grow poorly in heat, so they are cultivated only in early spring and late fall). This lettuce variety is oftentimes found in salads, but I love using it to replace shells, like in my Thai Beef Lettuce Wraps recipe!
Lettuce isn’t just a filler – it’s totally packed with nutrition! The romaine variety of lettuce includes a whopping amount of vitamin C (29% RDV), folate/vitamin B9 (34% RDV), and vitamin A (36% RDV) per 100g! It also has small amounts of the dietary minerals iron, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. Like any leafy green, romaine lettuce is rich in antioxidants.
You can grab organic romaine lettuce from the grocery store almost any time of the year, and you can find it at your local farmers’ market when it’s in season for your climate (don’t forget that a local, organic source is more likely to have more vitamins and minerals! It’s definitely worth spending a bit more if you’re able).