Braised Lettuce and Peas

A friend of my mother gave her a lovely, big bag of tender greens from her garden. We already are busting out of the fridge with romaine and spinach, so I wanted to use the lettuce straight away in a way that would use a lot of it and make it special at the same time.

This recipe seems a bit odd at first. Cooked lettuce isn’t an American everyday sight, but it’s a French classic. I’ve made this version light and easy. Also, I let my meals feed each other as I used leftover onions from a chicken roast and a cup of stock from same said chicken’s bones. Peas are always in the freezer and I do think it’s one of the few vegetables that really keeps it’s flavor and texture well when frozen. The flavors here are subtle and the seasoning needs to be just right. Use great ingredients, don’t overcook, and taste before seasoning! The mint is a perfect compliment and it grows outside my door, but if you have basil, thyme, or parsley, that would be amazing too, I’m sure.

This will serve four as a side dish or two if you call it lunch. Eat your greens!

Braised Lettuce and Peas
Adapted from Aida Mollenkamp

Ingredients:
1 Tbs butter
1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs whole wheat flour
1 cup chicken broth
2 small heads lettuce, washed, core removed, roughly chopped
2 cups frozen baby peas
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs mint, minced
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
salt to taste

Instructions:
Heat butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. When melted, add the onions, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Sprinkle flour over the top and cook about 30 seconds. Add stock, stirring well, and bring to a boil. Add the lettuce and peas, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until lettuce and peas are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice and mint. Taste, adjust seasoning as needed, and serve.

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