Sidekicks – Grilled Romaine Salad

  • Batman has Robin. (Actually, three – Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake)
  • Captain America had Bucky.
  • Superman has Jimmy Olsen.
  • Green Arrow has Connor Hawke and Speedy.
  • The Flash has Impulse.
  • Dr. Strange has Wong.
  • Deadpool has Weasel.
  • The whole JLA had Snapper Carr.

Yup. Today’s post is about sidekicks. While the main characters get center stage, these armies of culinary Rosencrantzes and Guildensterns do their part to complete the picture and fill out the experience. Over the past few weeks, while I talk about the main dish, I’ve often photographed finished plates along with sides. These have generated enough noise in comments and emails to me, that it’s time to let the sidekicks have the stage.

(Note: The pedantic among us will certainly have reason to quarrel with my short list above. For example, what about Batman and Oracle? Or Krypto, Supergirl, and Lois Lane? And really – Snapper Carr? Seriously? This is not meant as an exhaustive list but as an illustrative one. Run with it. Think of it as Earth-3, if that makes you feel better.)

Grilled Romaine Salad (serves 2)
First Apperance: Steak au Poivre

  • 1 romaine heart
  • olive oil
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 tbsp shallot, minced
  • vegetable oil, to 3:1 oil-acid ratio
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt, to taste

Wash the lettuce. Trim the core but do not remove completely. Slice in half lengthwise. Drizzle olive oil over the cut sides and grill, cut side down, until charred and lightly smoking.

Combine lemon juice, vegetable oil, salt, and shallots in cruet or dressing bottle and shake vigorously to combine.

Season the lettuce lightly with salt, dress, and top with grated parmesan cheese.

Carrots Etuvée (serves 2)
First appearance: Poulet en Cocotte

  • 8 oz carrots, chopped on bias
  • 1 teasp sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped

Bring all ingredients except parsley and lemon juice to a boil.

Cook covered about 30 minutes or until tender.

Uncover and reduce any remaining liquid to a glaze.

Toss with parsley and lemon juice and serve.

Note – Adjust water to suit the carrots. Tender, fresh carrots need half as much water; older, tougher carrots may need half again as much.