Weekly Winner: Wilted Lettuces …. no really!!

Stir-fried lettuceGenerally, I am a very big advocate of leaving lettuce alone.  Toss it in a salad, lay it on a sandwich, or wrap it around some wonderful ground meat for lettuce wraps — but don’t cook it!  No good can EVER come from wilted lettuce, right?  That’s what you throw out, am I correct?  Well, apparently not always.

This week’s Weekly Winner comes from Bon Appetit Magazine and it really is Stir-Fried Lettuces with Crispy Shallots.  No, really!

I was as surprised as anyone by this recipe the first time I made it.  And yes, perhaps just a tad skeptical.  But something about it intrigued me and I made it.  And then I made it again!  I’m still not sure what makes this so good but it has something to do with the texture of the stir-fried lettuce.  You do need to be careful and make sure it doesn’t wilt too much but if done right… it’s magic.  Don’t knock it until you try it.  And you should definitely try it.

Stir-Fried Lettuces with Crispy Shallots

Serves 4


2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

½ cup thinly sliced shallots

¼ cup thinly sliced cured sausage (such as salami or Chinese sausage) quartered if desired.

2 Tbsp. thinly sliced garlic

1-1/2 Tbsp minced peeled ginger

¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

6 cups coarsely chopped iceberg lettuce (about ½ head)

4 cups watercress (about 2 bunches), trimmed and cut into 2” pieces

4 cups cooked rice


Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over low heat.  Add shallots; cook stirring often, until golden brown, about 12 minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate and season lightly with salt and pepper (shallots will crisp as they cool).

Increase heat to medium, add sausage and next 3 ingredients to same skillet; stir for 2 minutes.  Add ¼ cup water; scrape up any browned bits..  Increase heat to medium-high; add lettuce and watercress and cook, tossing often, just until wilted, 1-2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve over rice.


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