Lettuce recipes?

Dear Cooks:

How about some ideas for using an overabundance of lettuce? We get a lot of lettuce in our CSA box and just can’t eat it all before the next week.


Lettuce Lover

Dear LL:

Here are a few quick ideas on how to use your lettuce, beyond salad:

Replace a bun with lettuce to wrap your favorite burger or sandwich.

Make a quick lettuce soup topped with homemade croutons. For the soup, in a large pot, sautee 2 chopped shallots in a drizzle of EVOO until soft. Add 4 cups chicken or veg stock and one peeled and chopped russet potato and simmer until the potato is tender – 15-20 minutes. Add 6 cups torn lettuce and 1/2 cup fresh herbs of your choice (basil, parsley, etc.) and simmer for 10 more minutes, Add salt and pepper to taste and puree until smooth. Top with homemade croutons – take 2 cups rustic bread, torn with your fingers, and drizzle with olive oil, top with salt and pepper and bake in an even layer on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes, or until crispy. Top soup with croutons.

Have a juicer? Lettuce is great in juices. Carrot-ginger-apple-lettuce is a great combo.

Stir fry lettuce for a tasty side dish. In a wok or large skillet, sautee 5 crushed garlic cloves in a bit of vegetable oil over high heat for 5 seconds. Add 1 pound of lettuce, cross-cut in thin strips and sautee until just limp – for 1-2 minutes.  Add one tablespoon each rice wine or dry sherry and soy sauce and stir to combine – 30-60 seconds. Remove from heat and drizzle with 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil and top with toasted sesame seeds.

Use lettuce instead of cabbage in your favorite cole slaw recipe – just shred.

Go Asian and make pork or chicken lettuce cups. Sautee ground chicken or pork with some finely chopped veggies, mix in some soy sauce and hoisin and spoon into lettuce leaves for a fun dinner. Try Rach’s easy and delicious recipe for Barbecued Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

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Rachael Ray