Saturday, July 14, 2007
L is for Lettuce
For a devout carnivore, Freddie is doing well. He has enjoyed the cooked lettuce recipes. Alex and I plotted the next move. As a Crisphead lettuce, the Iceberg had come out top for crunchiness. I read that it was given the name ‘iceberg’ because they used to be transported huge distances across America by rail, packed in ice to keep them fresh. We decided to be cunning. We made some of Freddie’s favourite herby burgers and served them wrapped in a single Iceberg lettuce leaf, secured with a cocktail stick. For him, red meat is irresistible, even if it involves crunching through a sweet crisp lettuce leaf.
We edged him closer to salad with an easy Chicken Caesar Pasta dish with the Romaine Lettuce. Working either means preparing something in advance or making something extremely easy. This falls into the easy category with ready-made croutons and caesar salad dressing.
There was something about the way the lettuce was first taste-tested and then reintroduced in a range of recipes, that had allowed Freddie to take a journey that he would normally have resisted.
Easy Chicken Caesar Pasta
1 Romaine Lettuce
300g whole wheat penne pasta
4 chicken fillets
2 tbsp olive oil
5 anchovy fillets
75g grated fresh parmesan cheese
6 tbsp of Caesar dressing
Half a cup of croutons
Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet.
Cut the chicken fillets into strips and cook in a griddle pan with one crushed garlic clove for about 8 minutes till thoroughly cooked. Chop the anchovy fillets into small pieces. (If you hate anchovies you can leave this ingredient out)
Add the chicken pieces and anchovy fillets to the pasta and stir round. Wash the lettuce, shred the leaves and dry them in a salad spinner. Add lettuce to the pasta. Pour the Caesar salad dressing and mix around making sure it is evenly coated. Add the grated parmesan cheese and stir in. Scatter croutons on top. Serve immediately.