Lettuce be thankful Part II

Lettuce to transplant Amish Deer Tongue Lettuce Lettuce in pots

The Amish Deer Tongue overwintered very well, and in anticipation of the leafy deluge I have been scoping out more inventive ways of preparing lettuce. Last year I made lettuce soup, which we will have again soon. But today I made some Peruvian Green Sauce (Aji) which was easy, delicious, and different. Mike asked “Did you say this had lettuce in it?!” It would be great as a green salsa with chips, on tacos, with scrambled eggs, etc. I pretty much used the recipe from the link above, but added some green onion and lime juice, and of course used my lovely bright green Amish Deer Tongue instead of anemic iceberg lettuce. The success of this Aji sauce made me think of other things you could do with blended lettuce…

  • Green tzatziki sauce – Blend 1/4 cup whole milk yogurt, 2 Tbsp tahini, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 minced clove garlic, handful of fresh mint and parsley (chopped), 1 small head of bibb or leaf lettuce. [I made this today, and I think I’ll serve it with some lamb on Sunday, maybe along with a green rice pilaf.]
  • Very green spinach dip: Use the Knorr spinach dip recipe, but blend a head of lettuce with the sour cream and mayo before adding the soup mix and spinach.
  • Extremely green onion dip: sour cream, green onion, chives, garlic, dill, lettuce, salt and pepper.
  • Green rice pilaf, risotto, and sushi rice: blend the lettuce with the water or broth before adding to the rice.
  • Green tabouli: blend the lettuce with the lemon juice and olive oil
  • Green Alfredo/bechamel sauce: blend lettuce with a little cream and add just as the sauce finishes cooking.
  • Green mayo for potato salad
  • Green Caesar salad dressing: Ha! Lettuce dressing on lettuce…
  • Green bread (I should have done this for St. Patrick’s Day)

Last night I made two leek & arugula pizzas – one with a crushed tomatoes/garlic/rosemary/oregano, and one with Arugula & Leek pizza; Aji sauce a garlic and rosemary bechamel sauce. Topped both of them with mozzarella, and the “white” pizza also had a good amount of asiago on it. Mike made the dough for these, and I must say that the bread flour really was much stretchier and easy to work with, and does make a nicer crust than all-purpose flour.

Today was the first day of the farmer’s market, and of course we got there too late for the asparagus. The one grower who brings asparagus sells out within 15 minutes of opening (Hello! Doesn’t this sound like a business opportunity?). I bought three eggplant and four peppers from the same lady as before, who grows them in large Styrofoam cups and sells them for $1.00.  I also found a Black Cherry tomato plant at another stall, which I haven’t seen here before. I’ve already planted most of my tomato plants, but I couldn’t resist collecting another unusual one. Here are the tomatoes I planted last weekend: Cherokee Black, Black Krim, Black Prince (yeah, I’m totally into the black tomatoes now), Caspian Pink, Old German, Box Car Willie, Mortgage Lifter, Yellow Pear, Orange Oxheart, Grape, and a mystery volunteer tomato that sprouted in a houseplant pot this winter (probably one of those crazily productive yellow tomatoes). Still waiting to be planted are Sweet 100, Amish Paste, and Better Boy. Every year I say I’m going to plant fewer tomatoes, but I just can’t help myself!

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