It's described in terms of other things -- butter, icebergs, gems -- but really, it's like nothing but itself. This week, we want to see your best recipes that call for lettuces of any kind. Salads, wraps, soups, and stir fries: make lettuce the star.
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A cool palette of greens and yellows: leafy arugula, escarole, mint, and cilantro, spicy serrano and poblano peppers, and lots of add-ins -- ginger and lemon juice, ras el hanout, garlic, lemon zest, and olive oil.
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It's a relief to just roughly chop a head of lettuce -- no precise 1" strips here.
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As hardlikearmour suggests, we stuffed our escarole and arugula into a four-cup measure while prepping the ingredients.
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Back at the cutting board, the scallions and poblano need just a rough chop.
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The garlic too, just one clove's worth.
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Chilling the blender before use with a simple ice bath ensures that even as the blender's blade heats up, your greens will stay chilled and bright green. Such a smart tip!
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And in it all goes: first the aromatics.
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Cilantro -- stems and all -- and mint add herbal notes to the sauce.
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You won't taste the lemon in the final sauce, but it makes a difference in binding together the flavors.
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Ras el hanout -- a Middle Eastern spice mix of cumin, coriander, ginger, and black pepper -- adds smoky complexity to the harissa.
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You'll be adding more olive oil later, but just a little added now helps inititally emulsify the sauce.
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Ginger juice in addition to the ground ginger in the ras el hanout makes for a spicy double punch.
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Add the lemon zest and a couple of ice cubes for body and it's time to go!
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Not your average harissa.
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Now it's time to add all those leafy greens, working in handfuls.
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You may have to use a spatula, but be patient and it'll all blend.
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Last but not least, the olive oil transforms the mix from a green smoothie into harissa! You may not add it all -- stop when the sauce has a barely chunky, pourable texture.
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And then spoon it over everything. Or just eat it from a spoon.
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