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May 12, 2009 10:06 AM

Cooking w/Lettuce!????

Hi everyone. I'd love ideas/feedback/recipes for cooking with lettuce, if anyone has had luck with it. The only recipe with which I'm familiar is a grilled romaine caesar.

I've got a big tub of mixed greens (got it at Costco, then no one felt like salad all week) about to go bad. Given how greens wilt when cooked, maybe I can use them up in a single recipe without having to throw them away.

Does anyone think a simple lettuce soup, made with lettuce and chicken broth, then blended up, would be any good?

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  1. Julia Child has a braised lettuce recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, although it calls for head lettuce rather than loose leaves. It's a detailed recipe, but basically it calls for blanching the lettuce and and then braising it with onion, carrot, butter, bacon, stock, and herbs (inluding parsley, thyme and bayleaf).

    Are your greens baby greens? If so, the Julia recipe would probably decimate them. I'd probably try sauteeing them with garlic in oil, like you might with fresh spinach, and serving them as a cooked vegetable side dish.

    Or, you could try making a variation on a wilted spinach salad. Here's a recipe:

    1 Reply
    1. I think a blended lettuce soup would be great, maybe finished with a little butter and cream. Also, unblended is great in light chinese soups, like wonton or scallop soups. Just put it (chopped roughly) at the bottom of the serving bowl and ladle the hot soup over.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Botch

        I find that something like romaine works better in broths (or with ramen), since it stays a little crunchy.

        1. re: Botch

          Barefoot Contessa makes a soup with roasted veggies and leftover salad greens. The vinegar in the dressing adds a tanginess to the soup.

        2. Jacques Pepin says he often puts wilting lettuce in soup. I think your soup idea sounds fine, maybe add some cream or yogurt at the end. Or stir fry some firmer vegetables like julienned carrots, onion, etc., and stir in the lettuce at the end, with soy sauce. Or chop the lettuce ultra-fine and use it for tuna salad instead of celery. A sub shop near me makes their tuna salad that way, and it's a good one.

          2 Replies
          1. re: greygarious

            Jacques also recommends a classic French preparation of peas and lettuce. Shredded Romain may be best for this, but mixed greens might work.

            1. re: paulj

              I love braised peas and lettuce - I usually use Bibb/Boston lettuce.

          2. I like to make lettuce fried rice. Just any basic fried rice recipe with the lettuce thrown in at the end with a handful of mung bean sprouts (the texture seems to fool the mind into the thinking the lettuce is still a bit crunchy) and stir-fried until just wilted.

            1. I do it often with Asian style soups along with some sesame and or chili oils ,oyster sauce etc or to noodle dishes .Any lettuce works for me and lotsof it