Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Braised Lettuce, Garlic & Capers in Olive Oil

Though crisp and succulent lettuce can be quite a treat, preparing it isn't. Buying packaged lettuce is one solution, but not an option for those who grow their own. Washing the lettuce isn't too much a pain, but swaddling the whole lot in a dishcloth and putting that in a plastic bag which then goes in the fridge for least an hour is more annoying then it isn't. So how to take advantage of all that water clinging to the lettuce? And still coat it in oil? Braise away, baby!

I love how the white ribs turn translucent

Stack the washed leaves, roll them into a huge cigar, and slice it. Heat up a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet, toss in some minced garlic, chopped marjoram, and capers. Gently saute for a minute. Stir the lettuce into the skillet until it is mostly wilted. Cover and simmer over low heat for about eight to ten minutes. When mixed into grains like cous cous for example or pasta, topped with freshly grated Parmesan, and seasoned to taste, it is a delice making me very pleased that our lettuce is doing so well in the potager...


...and that I remembered to sow successive rows a couple of weeks apart.

Old cotton sheeting to provide shade will go back on the metal supports

Staggered sowing hopefully will provide some lettuce to go with the tomatoes when they ripen...

Joie de la table, an early-season variety and one of our twenty-two tomato plants

...and when the cucumbers do too!

Their immature skin is a bit prickly but does smooth out eventually

The annual herbs are thriving. Pinching off several inches of top growth during harvesting keeps them nice and bushy. 

Basil, marjoram, parsley, chives, and dill

Marjoram is a lovely substitute for oregano as it has a milder taste, with a hint of mint.


In the flower garden, perennial snapdragons with their soft yellow are providing a perfect colour complement for the lavender.


Fragrant pinks are spicing up the air with their perfume reminiscent of cloves.


After spending the entire night out on the town, Dirac the Young Cat is taking it easy.


À la prochaine!