An Extraordinary Way With Lettuce (and Broad Beans)

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Broad beans. Sainsburys :)

I know those are broad beans up there and the title of this post says lettuce but I didn't take a picture of the lettuce but I did take a picture of the broad beans.

I watched a Nigel Slater cookery programme a few years back and actually paid attention and made one of the recipes. I remember the title as being "An extraordinary way with lettuce". I've made it a few times since and each time, the interpretation gets a bit more lax and it's become more a go with the flow recipe now as I make it with any summer veg that I have to hand. #get_some_veg_down_ya

I made it again the other day as we had some left over gammon to use up along with some stock and then I thought, it might be a useful and easy dish for some people out there. Let me say now, I'm not a cook, chef or foodie. I cook food purely to feed hungry mouths so my method description may be rather short and sweet. A bit like me ;o)

This serves the 4 of us but the measurements are very loose (depends on what I have to hand).


  • Big slice of butter 
  • 2 x gem lettuce (halved)
  • 1 x large leek (chopped into chunks)
  • 4-5 spring onions cut into 1inch lengths
  • Handful of peas (frozen is fine)
  • Any summer veg (eg. baby sweetcorn/brocolli/asparagaus/green beans/broad beans)
  • Enough vegetable stock to cover the veg. Add more if you like it soupy.
  • Thick cut ham
  • Optional. Handful of mini pasta shells- my boys like these and it bolsters up a meal.


  • Optional. Cook the mini pasta shapes in a pan and drain.
  • Melt the butter in a deep wide pan.
  • Add the leeks and cook till soft.
  • Throw in all the veg along with the stock.
  • Cook for 5-10 mins till veg is softened.
  • Warm a few slices of ham in the soupy concoction.
  • Season to taste.
  • Optional. Put some mini pasta shapes in bowls for those who want them. Ladle the soupy concoction over.
  • Serve. 

Looks like this when it's served up and I swear there is some lettuce in there but it's hiding at the bottom.

Nutritious and delicious.


Last Note :

  • Nigel Slater's original lettuce recipe can be found here.
  • Use a stock cube if you like - I quite often do. It's not always possible to have a pint of homemade stock at the ready #iamnotadomesticgoddess
  • I always blanch and remove the skins from broad beans and then add them to the Grump's plate at the end of the cooking and ladle the soup and veg over them which warms them through. That way, I don't have to have them and he doesn't have to have pasta shells. Everyone's a winner!


  1. Looks delicious! I am loving the new food blog posts.

    1. I think I have done about 4 since I started this blog. I don't think it's going to become a regular feature somehow - it fair kills me thinking that someone might try it and go "bleurgh" at the end or it doesn't work out.

  2. Wow! That looks delicious and far more impressive than the food I slap on the table for my cuckoos (teenagers!) x

    1. Oh believe me - tonight's meal will be nothing like that. It's burgers and chips tonight. I have 6 boys coming round and I need them fed before 6pm cricket training! In between the pool paddling and footie and carnage.

  3. For someone who claims she's not a cook, that genuinely does look absolutely delicious. And c'mon ... you know that I'm not going to lie!!! :)

    1. I'm not a natural cook. I follow recipes to the letter unless I've done them 50 times or more. When I follow a recipe ... I read every step 20 times just to make sure I know what I'm doing. I have very little confidence in myself as a cook generally - my cooking has been mocked on more than one occasion!

      But on the whole ... it's edible :)

  4. This really does look very tempting Sue. I am not much of a recipe freestyle either. It takes a good few tries for me to gain any confidence to start changing stuff around. Having said that, all my favourite recipes are ones where you can be quite flexible and just use what you have to hand. We seem to do a lot of winging it at mealtimes in our house! xx

    1. I totally wing it. But sometimes the most wonderful mistakes can happen too. I've found that some of the best things I've made when I've googled a quick recipe and they've turned out amazing. Or rather - very good.

  5. That does look fab Sue - and I could actually see the kids eating it too! Thanks for the food need to get more of that on here...apart from anything else, you've got the Marlene food-photography skills, which make these kinds of posts a joy to read x

    1. That is indeed a compliment but no way can I ever compete with Marlene - that girl really knows her business and I'm playing with my little camera or phone camera and doing everything on auto. Maybe one day I'll read a manual and get on the case and make the most of that little camera I have.

      And yep - it's one of those meals where you bung in all the veggies you think your kids eat.

  6. Looks good to me, Sue! Go on, do another ;-) Lynne xx

    1. No. I'm leaving it to you. I'll just carry on photographing the heck my food but not write about it. I think it's better that way.

  7. I'm sad to hear your cooking has been mocked on several occasions! Because this looks divine. x

    1. My sister was a bit of a cook and used to stand over me when I attempted to make anything at home. So I gave up and stopped cooking. And I've made some truly horrible stuff in my time. Honest.

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Susie So So