Lettuce-b

Lettuce in my garden

It was time again to go on air with Phil Dudman the garden guru and Graeme Stuart at the ABC Northcoast for Good Gardening. The challenge this week was with lettuce, Phil asked “What else can we do with lettuce besides salads?”

The following recipe is great for lunch. I steamed the lettuce with a Mexican flavoured chicken and vege filling. The lettuce took on a different flavour compared to eating it raw, much to Graeme’s surprise (it didn’t taste like rabbit food). The flavour was richer and more intense. Give it a go but make sure you use big soft lettuce leaves like butter or mignonette. I used a green coral when I cooked on the show but when I developed the recipe the best result was with a butter lettuce. Enjoy.

STUFFED STEAMED LETTUCE WRAPS with MEXICAN CHICKEN and GARDEN VEGES

Makes 10-12

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 red onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, finely diced

2 small red chillies, finely chopped

1 red capsicum, finely diced

1 zucchini, finely diced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 corn cob, kernels removed

1/ 2  barbecued chicken, meat shredded

10-12 large lettuce leaves, butter or mignonette, washed

10-12 garlic chives

Avocado salsa

1 avocado, finely chopped

1 lime, juice

1/2 red onion, finely diced

1/4 cup coriander leaves, finely chopped

sour cream, to serve.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and cook the onion, garlic, chillies, capsicum and zucchini for 5 minutes or until softened.  Add the spices and cook for a further minute, combining well. Stir through the chicken and corn to warm through and remove the pan from the heat.

To make the avocado salsa, combine all the ingredients except for the sour cream and set aside.

Lay the lettuce leaves on a flat surface. Spoon a tablespoon of the chicken mixture in a pile at the bottom of the leaf and tightly fold the lettuce leaves over the filling to make a parcel and tie with a garlic chive. Repeat with remaining leaves.

Line a large bamboo steamer with non-stick baking paper or extra lettuce leaves. Place the parcels in the steamer and cover with a lid. Place over a pot or wok of simmering water and steam for 5 minutes.

Serve the lettuce parcels with the salsa and sour cream.

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