4 Bites: Cooking with cos lettuce
Warren Elwin cooks his lettuce 'cos it makes a surprisingly good change from salad
- In a wok, bring ¼ cup of stock to a simmer. Add a handful each of chopped asparagus, snow peas and fresh peas and bring back to a simmer. Add 1-2 baby cos lettuce (cut into chunks) and cook quickly until just tender yet crunchy, tossing to help separate the leaves a little.
- Remove from the heat, add a generous handful of mint leaves and chopped chives, season with a little lemon zest and sea salt flakes and serve as a side. Serves 4-6. Get the recipe
1 Heat a splash of sesame oil in a hot wok. Add 1 thinly sliced baby leek (or spring onion), 2 cloves crushed garlic, 1 mild red chilli and a small knob of peeled ginger (both cut into thin threads) and fry gently to soften leek. Add 1 cup cooked rice, a splash more oil and fry to just heat rice through.
2 Add 1-2 shredded baby cos, a handful of cooked prawns, 1 Tbsp hoisin sauce, 1 tsp fish sauce and a squeeze of lemon. Stir-fry to wilt lettuce, toss through a handful of coriander leaves, season with freshly ground black pepper and serve as a side or light meal. Serves 4. Get the recipe
- Blanch the outer leaves from 2 baby cos (20-24 leaves) until they just change colour, refresh in icy water, pat dry, cut out the stem from each leaf and chill.
- Whisk ⅓ cup yoghurt with 1-2 cloves crushed garlic, 1 Tbsp tahini and the juice of a lime. Season with freshly ground black pepper and chill.
- Cut 1 eggplant into chunks, slice 3-5 tomatoes in half. Toss all with 2 tsp cumin, freshly ground black pepper, the zest of 1 lime or lemon and a big glug of olive oil. Roast in a medium oven until eggplant is tender. Once cool, add a handful of chopped parsley and sea salt flakes and mash lightly with a fork.
- Add spoonfuls of mix to each leaf. Add a drizzle of sauce. Fold into small parcels. Chill to serve, with remaining sauce for dipping. Makes 20-24. Get the recipe
- Whisk 2 Tbsp each of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, with a squeeze of lemon and 1 Tbsp each of honey and mustard, until smooth. Cut 2 baby cos (radicchio, or other firm lettuce) into halves, drizzle dressing over lettuces and leave to marinate until ready to grill.
- Place cos cut side down on a hot barbecue, turn down to a medium-low heat, cover and grill until lettuces are lightly coloured and just tender (move them around if they’re charring). Serve with a spoonful of mascarpone whipped with a little sour cream, lemon zest and juice, goat’s cheese and chopped chives. Serves 4 as a starter or side. Get the recipe