Braised Lettuce on Toast
Source: Tamar Adler, author, Something Old, Something New
This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on April 21, 2018.
Braised lettuce is good before simple second courses like poached or scrambled eggs, a salad, or some favorite cheese, with good plain wine.
Serves 6 as a side dish
1 large or 2 small heads romaine lettuce
18 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped
½ clove garlic, pounded to a paste with a little bit of salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 pieces rustic bread, about ½ inch thick, sliced in half crosswise
¼ cup chicken or vegetable stock
Kosher or sea salt
Zest of ½ lemon
Remove the outer leaves from the romaine, saving them for soup. Trim the bases, leaving the head(s) intact and leaves connected. Cut into 6 thin vertical wedges, connected at the base.
Make anchovy butter by pounding the anchovies to a paste with the garlic paste, then mashing in 4 tablespoons of the butter.
Toast the bread.
Warm a pan large enough to fit all the lettuce wedges. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Once it has melted, add the stock, and fit the romaine wedges closely into the pan in a single layer. Salt lightly. Cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes, then turn all the wedges to another side. Scatter with lemon zest. Continue to cook, turning once or twice more, until the liquid has been absorbed and the lettuce is very wilted and tender throughout. Turn off the heat.
On a cutting board, slice each wedges twice across to make for easier cutting.
Spread the toast thickly with the anchovy butter and top with the lettuce. Serve hot.