New Summer Lettuce Mint Baby Onions and Broad Beans

July 30, 2009

The summer is well and truly in and the new potatoes are starting to come in.

Wicklow summer produce

Wicklow summer produce

In your bags this week is mint the real summer flavour.  Aside from adding it to a dressed Pimms one could make a mojito

The key with many herbs is never chop too finely as it makes them bitter so for a mojito you muddle

Mojito (for one)

Take 6-8 mint leaves

1-2 tbsp castor or cane sugar (I use golden cane if possible)

1/2 lime chopped (if not organic unwaxed scrub first)

measure/2 rum (light not dark unless you have golden)

100 ml sparkling water

mint to garnish

Put the mint and sugar lime  into a cocktail shaker or bowl preferable metal and ‘muddle ‘it with the end of a rolling skin or wooden spoon, Put into a long tall glass add rum ice and sparkling water

Drink looking at rain

More Mint ideas

If you have new potatoes when cooking them boil them with some mint in the water and serve with mint and butter (and nothing else as far as I am concerned)

I noticed the Scallions this week were kind of large more like pearl onions or baby onions and its summer and we want summery so lets become very French and have

Braised lettuce with baby onions and mint (and optionally broad beans) (for 2)

Chop tops and bottoms from 4 onions and halve. Saute gently in butter for a few minutes then rip up lettuce (half a lettuce) and add to buttery mix and cook slowly. Put the lid on the pot and add little chicken stock.(or veg or I used shiro miso as had no chicken which was just delicious)  Here the French would classically add baby peas. As the only way to eat peas is  to grow them or eat them frozen shell and blanch your broad beans  and add (or some frozen peas). Simmer til tender . Season. Serve with some chopped mint and more butter…

Very good with fish or chicken

When the lettuce is plentiful in the summer in the garden we always made delicious

Lettuce soup (for 3-4)

Saute an onion in butter.  Add ripped uphead of lettuce and saute for a few minutes. Add 100 ml of chicken stock and cook for ten minutes. Puree roughly and add  250 ml of cream and season. Claim to everyone that as it is green it is really healthy. (or if you have to make with milk)

My other favourite with baby onions is :

Sweet and sour onions served warm or cold (for 2)

My brother makes this and claims it is Basque. Our Basque readers may correct it on this one but it is another dish redolent of summer

Chop tops and bottoms from onions no need to peel and leave whole (allow 2 per person). If they were real pearl onions I would use 4 per person

Bring to boil in 2 tbsp red wine vinegar with added 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp tomato puree. Simmer til onions are tender and liquid has vanished.(ten minutes of so) . Then toss onions round a bit to get as much of sticky residue on pan as possible. Serve warm. Great as a side dish for a barbie goes great with pork.

You can optionally brown the onions first in some olive oil.  I find it works either way

I followed the braised lettuce and broadbeans with some roasted figs cooked with honey liquer (donated by some Lithuanians and usually imbibed hot when I have a cold) cinnamon  and butter.  This would be just as nice if not nicer as a starter with goats cheese on stop. I was just away last weekend and non stop eating so cannot realise justify except that I could not let them go to waste… so you all missed out on the figs.. This week its red and white currants and blueberries.  Hope am not drowning in summer pudding or forccd to get out my German cake books to make kuche with johanisbeeren.

2 Responses to “New Summer Lettuce Mint Baby Onions and Broad Beans”

  1. Stephanie Brandstetter Says:

    Enjoy your comments, recipes and humour. Have several heads of lettuce very large and bok choy which I want to cook. This summer is very wet and the heads are large and old so may be tough.

    • homeorganics Says:

      Once they have not bolted the lettuce will be fine for soup making or braising or even in a stir fry. Not sure re bok choy I have never grown it but I usually steam or braise it as well but for less time than lettuce

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