Thursday, July 12, 2007

Lettuce braised

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The League of Lettuce meant that our kitchen looked like an allotment. At this stage, presenting a raw salad might have prompted a revolt so our first recipe involved cooking a lettuce. It seemed a little inappropriate to cook something that looks perfect fresh and raw. I opened a 1936 edition of Au Petit Cordon Bleu with recipes by Rosemary Hume and Dione Lucas: two of the greatest female chefs and cookery writers. We used four round lettuces which seemed like far too much lettuce but after boiling them and drying them, the poor things shrank. The end result was good enough to be a complete meal. The lettuces are cooked slowly and take on the flavour of the bacon. Freddie gave it 8 out of 10. Here is our recipe, adapted from Au Petit Cordon Bleu.

Braised Lettuce
4 Round lettuces
8 rashes of unsmoked back bacon
1 medium onion
1 carrot
100 ml vegetable stock
2 tbsp double cream or crème fraiche
Salt and pepper to season

Discard the outer leaves of the lettuce. Put the four lettuce in a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. When the water is boiling, turn off the heat, take out the lettuces and drain. Carefully dry with a cloth, taking care not to ruin their shape. Lightly grease a casserole dish and lay the bacon rashes across the bottom. Finely dice the carrot and onion and put on top of the bacon. Lay the lettuce top-down on the bacon. Pour the vegetable stock on top. Put the lid on and cook in a preheated oven for 40 minutes at 180C. When cooked, remove dish from the oven. Place the lettuce and bacon on a serving dish. Pour the remaining stock and vegetables into a pan and place on the hob on a medium heat. Reduce the stock and stir in the cream. Pour over the lettuce and serve.


  1. schmoof.4:04 PM

    I've never cooked lettuce unless its the chinese leaf (is that a lettucr or a cabbage?) There's also a braised lettuce made with little gem and peas, might give that a go too...

  2. Sarah Latson4:26 PM

    Hello all,

    Just wanted you to know that you have a following in the United States...

    The blog is wonderful!

    Lots of love,

  3. I have to say, I love cooked lettuce! And I'm so impressed with Freddie - his palate is so sophisticated!

  4. Hi Charlotte,
    I cooked this recipe on Saturday lunch and it was great. Thank you.
    Sara from farmingfriends

  5. Sara - That is great. I hope the recipe was easy to follow.
    The braised lettuce purists prefer to have just the bacon and lettuce - others branch out and add the carrots and onions!


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