Pan-Fried Romaine Hearts with Caper Vinaigrette

A bowl with caramelized, pan-seared romaine hearts in a caper vinaigrette sprinkled with pine nuts.
Our three Simple Feast chefs

Simple Feast

Our chefs

Serves 4

Active Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

When available, heads of Little Gem lettuce will work well too.


  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon agave syrup

  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • 1½ teaspoons chopped tarragon leaves

  • 4 romaine hearts 

  • Canola oil or other neutral oil

  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts


To make the caper vinaigrette, in a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, agave, and pepper, then whisk in the oil. Stir in the capers and the chopped herbs.

Remove and discard any broken or tired outer leaves from the romaine hearts. Trim the ends and cut in half lengthwise. Rinse as needed and dry well.

Heat a coating of canola oil (about 1 Tablespoon) in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches as needed to not overcrowd the pan, add the romaine hearts in an even layer, cut-side down. Sear until a rich golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer to a plate, cut-side up.

Give the vinaigrette a quick mix and spoon over the top. Sprinkle with the pine nuts and serve warm.