Lettuce Jam

By Jenn Louis
April 25, 2017
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Author Notes: I first had this at Press restaurant in Napa Valley in California, made by chef Trevor Kunk. It is like a salsa verde, but served like a dip. I find it magical and simple at the same time, not to mention a great use of the outside, imperfect leaves of frisée, romaine, Little Gem lettuce, or even a mix of them all. Use it on sandwiches, as a dip for vegetables, a garnish for a charcuterie plate, or as a sauce for roasted or grilled pork, fish, chicken, or beef.

Recipe from The Book of Greens (Ten Speed Press, 2017).
Jenn Louis

Makes: 1 1/2 cups (360 ml)

  • 6 tablespoons (90 ml) neutral vegetable oil
  • 10 1/2 ounces (300 g) assorted lettuces (about 1 packed heaping quart), including outer leaves and damaged leaves
  • 2 large shallots, sliced into 3/4-inch (6-mm) pieces
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons capers
  • 8 cornichons
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Fine sea salt
  1. Place a large pan over high heat. When very hot, add 4 tablespoons (60 ml) of the oil. When the oil shimmers, add the lettuce. Let the lettuce cook, undisturbed, until the moisture has evaporated, about 2 minutes, then stir to redistribute. Do not burn the lettuce, but cook through and make sure the leaves become dry. This should take 3 to 4 minutes total. The greens will absorb the oil. Using a plastic spatula, scrape the lettuce onto a plate and chill in the refrigerator until very cold.
  2. While the lettuce are cooling, return the large pan to medium-high heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the shallots and cook until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape onto the same plate as the lettuce and cool both completely.
  3. Combine the capers, cornichons, and mustard in a food processor and pulse to chop, leaving the mixture chunky. Add the greens and process until a creamy paste or dip consistency forms. Season to taste with salt. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
  4. Other greens that work in this recipe: mixed chicories, head lettuce.

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