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Coeurs de laitue braisés (Braised Hearts of Lettuce)

Braised lettuce is rarely on the menu in English-speaking countries, but is a delicious garnish for pot-roast, pheasant, pigeon or white meats such as veal or pork, roast poultry or steamed white fish.

As a main vegetable, count two lettuce hearts per portion. Choose sweet varieties such as cos lettuce, sweet romaine, little gem (which are very compact) or, if the above are unavailable, traditional round lettuce.

Serves 4


8 small to medium compact Lettuces of equal size
100 g (1 3/4 oz) Butter
Freshly ground white Pepper


  1. Do not over-trim the outside leaves but thoroughly wash the lettuces to remove any earth from between the the leaves, especially at their base. (Healthy discarded outer leaves can always be used for salads, soups, or to prepare Petits Pois à l'ancienne which marry very well with this recipe).
  1. Melt the butter in a deep lidded pan, roll the lettuces in the butter to coat them on all sides, season and begin to braise gently. As soon as the lettuces start to shead their natural water, cover and turn heat to a minimum.
  1. Cook gently for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally. The hearts should be cooked through retaining a little crispness. Reserve the lettuces on a heated serving dish and briskly reduce the cooking juices over a high heat to a liquor. Pour over the lettuce hearts and serve immediately.

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