Lettuce Jam

April 25, 2017
2 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Makes 1 1/2 cups (360 ml)
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

What You'll Need
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Lettuce Jam
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Izzy Sanchez-Mendoza
    Izzy Sanchez-Mendoza
  • mevans

2 Reviews

mevans March 31, 2020
Delicious, easy way to save that sad lettuce that's not really gonna cut it in a salad. I would never have thought of this on my own, but I hate wasting food, and I love savory spreads! I don't keep cornichons in the house but I always have capers, so I added some extra of those and a little black pepper to boost it. I wouldn't describe it as a jam, though. Definitely a spread or dip!
Izzy S. May 2, 2017
This reads almost like an oxymoron lol maybe a name like "greens confit" would sound a bit more enticing? Very creative and unique recipe, though!