Braised Lettuce

Summary

Yield
Servings
SourceMastering the Art of French Cooking
Prep time2 hours
RegionFrance

Description

Braised Lettuce

This was completely counterintuitive. We think of lettuce as the light, crisp, fresh base for a salad. The thought of cooking lettuce seems bizarre. But many times while flipping through the pages of Mastering the Art of French Cooking I have seen this recipe and I knew that one day I would attempt it. 

I did, and it's delicious!  Slow cooking in rich stock tames the lettuce and makes it fascinating and wonderful. 

Ingredients

2eaLettuce (whole clean heads, not iceberg)
2sliBacon
1⁄4ccarrots (thinly sliced)
1⁄4conions (thinly sliced)
2TButter
1cBeef Stock
1⁄4cDry Vermouth
1⁄2eaBay Leaf
1pnThyme
1pnparsley

Instructions

  1. Plunge the heads of lettuce into ample boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes, then plunge into cold water to stop the cooking. 
  2. Cook the bacon in the boiling water for 10 minutes.
  3. Gently squeeze the water from the lettuce and the heads in half lengthwise, through the core. Fold in half crosswise and form into triangular packets.
  4. Preheat oven to 350.
  5. In a small, heavy casserole, saute the carrots and onions in the butter until tender. Add the lettuce packets and then lay the blanched bacon over them.
  6. Add the dry vermouth and enough beef stock to just cover the lettuce. Add the herbs.
  7. Bring to a simmer, then cover the casserole and cook in the oven for about 90 minutes.
  8. Gently remove the braised lettuce parcels to a warm serving dish and immediately boil down the braising liquid to thicken it for a sauce. Whisk in a tablespoon of butter to finish the sauce and serve hot.
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