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Baked Romaine Lettuce Wraps in Pesto Cream

When romaine is baked, braised, or any method of heat is applied to it, the sweetness of the leaves really shine! Here, I've stuffed the leaves with a mix of ingredients that add perfect textures and flavors. Originally, I wanted to add artichokes but didn't have any. Definitely add them to the filling. One of my readers suggested the same! This easy to make casserole is great for a weeknight meal.

All ingredients are highlighted in bold.


In large bowl, mix together:

2 cans drained northern beans

1 jar artichokes in water, well drained, with leaves pulled apart by hand

1/4 tsp sage

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Dash cayenne if preferred

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2-1 teaspoon white pepper

2 large tomatoes medium diced, cored, seeded (prior to adding, allow liquid to drain by putting in a colander with a dash of salt)

Carefully stir in 2 cups shredded mozzarella. You can also choose 1 cup of fontina cheese if you prefer a creamier, richer cheese sauce.

Remove and discard the tough outer leaves of one large head of romaine lettuce, then separate remaining leaves, rinsing and drying the romaine well. Split Romaine leaves in half. Double the halves up and place filling inside. Wrap tightly, tucking side leaves under.

Lay down in dish with with ends touching and seams facing bottom of a greased casserole dish.

Make a roux of 2 tablespoon flour to 1 tablespoon butter on stovetop in medium size heavy sauce pan. Whisk well over medium heat for several minutes until roux becomes light brown and smells like cooked flour. Add in 1 cup heavy whipping cream (slightly warmed, not cold straight from the refrigerator) and 1/2 cup lukewarm water into the roux, whisking well.  Let cook and thicken for a few minutes, whisking constantly.

Remove from heat and stir in 4 heaping teaspoons basil pesto.

Pour on top of Romaine lettuce wraps.

Drizzle with a bit of olive oil.

Bake at 375 for 25–30 minutes.

Toss 1/3 cup pine nuts, or other chopped nuts, on top of casserole once baked. (optional)

Let sit several minutes before serving.

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