Tuesday, August 5, 2008

L is for Lettuce

Pic from here

Despite living on salads in winter, lettuce is actually a winter vegetables. We have a few varieties growing in our garden which seems to acquire very little attention to keep them happy. When I think of winter, I don't really think of salads, unless there's roast vegetables or goat's cheese involved. But here's a few ideas:

vegan lettuce wraps

  • coriander
  • minced shallots
  • thai chillies
  • chopped peanuts
  • toasted coconut
  • minced lime
Finely dice and place on lettuce.

Lettuce wrap 'sauce' (more like a paste)

> 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
> 1/4 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts
> 1/4 cup brown sugar
> 3 Tbsp tamari
> 1/3 cup water

Combine the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Transfer to a blender or food processor and process until smooth.

Braised Lettuce with Peas

  • small knob butter
  • 1 small onion , finely chopped
  • 4 Little Gem lettuces
  • 200ml fresh chicken stock
  • 4 tbsp single cream or crème fraîche
  • 500g bag frozen peas


  1. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan with a lid. Fry the onion gently for about 5 mins, until softened. Meanwhile, pull any damaged or coarse outer leaves from the lettuces and trim the bases. Cut the lettuces in half lengthways, through the base.
  2. Place the lettuce cut-side up on top of the onions and cook for half a minute, then turn over and cook for another 30 secs. Pour over the stock and lightly season. Put the lid on the pan, reduce the heat to the minimum and cook for 10 mins.
  3. With a slotted spoon, lift the lettuces out and put into a sieve over a bowl. Raise the heat under the pan and boil the juices until reduced by half. Add the cream or crème fraîche and petits pois and boil for 1 min until heated through. Arrange lettuces in a serving dish and pour over the pea-and-cream sauce.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, March 2005 .

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