When you enjoy cooking it’s sometimes easy to forget about the simple recipes, like this salad of lettuce, cucumber, carrot and sweet pepper with classic Italian vinaigrette. It can serve as a summer lunch or dinner, or as a side.
Tag Archives: lettuce
I’ve posted about grilled lettuce previously, with brie and with vegan green sauce, and also grilled cabbage with nam prik sauce. So at a friend’s recent barbecue, when I was asked to make a salad, I made one without the iceberg lettuce, which I instead prepared to grill using olive oil, salt, and pepper.
There was already an herb sauce of parsley and mint with feta and sweet pepper on hand, so we used it to dress the lettuce. It was a popular addition to the meal.
I meant to make fresh spring rolls, but the wrapping material I’d purchased was too thick. So I settled for wrapping in lettuce around blanched sprouted mung beans, glass noodles mixed with soy sauce, carrot, sweet pepper, cucumber, basil and mint.
The peanut dip was really tasty and was made by mixing the following ingredients in a saucepan: one chopped shallot, about one cup of peanut butter, juice from one lime, two minced cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon of maple sugar, salt to taste, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon of frozen grated coconut, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and enough water to allow me to blend the ingredients. I simmered it for about five minutes until the ingredients were all mixed and the excess water had evaporated.
This is an extra post because I’ve written about fatoosh before. The hot weather has me reaching for some familiar favourites. Now is a good time to remember all the wonderful summer dishes I haven’t eaten for months. I’ve been making pita bread to eat with all sorts of dips, and this is how I used up one leftover bread, for lunch.
I found another use for the mint-lime-tamarind sauce: grilled lettuce. Normally, grilled lettuce is made with a closed-leaf lettuce like little gem, but I had a loose-leaf red-tipped lettuce available when I decided to make this.
Grilling lettuce is as simple as heating a frying pan quite hot, and grilling the lettuce a few moments on each side. Before grilling I add salt, olive oil, and black pepper to the lettuce. It is done when the leaves start to wilt and some char develops on the stem.
After the lettuce was cooked, I simply served it with the sauce. The lettuce tasted a little like spinach, and went well with the sauce. Half a head of lettuce looks like a lot, but once it is cooked, one person can eat it all in just a few bites.
I didn’t follow the recipe, as usual. I simmered the celery, garlic and spinach together with the lentils for a while, because I like them well-cooked. The lettuce, however, I only wilted. I also let it cool completely before blending it, because it is safer to blend that way, and I was making it in advance for lunch anyway.
This green soup looks very much like the other green soups I’ve made in recent weeks – broccoli stalk soup, pea parsley soup, and greens soup – but each has a distinct flavour.