Monday, January 07, 2008

Frozen Lettuce


I had a lot of e-mails yesterday about what on earth the Frozen Lettuce was all about, so I decided to move it up in my posting schedule and tell you about it right away. It comes from Maraharu Morimoto's (the Japanese Iron Chef!) book "The Art of New Japanese Cooking" and while the flavors are definitely not far out, and fairly close to those of a Caesar Salad, the textures are wildly different. The lettuce is indeed frozen, and it melts in your mouth.

Really - do try this! Even if you don't make your own dressing - try it anyway! It's really fun! And tasty, but I don't need to tell you that.

The original recipe includes anchovy paste and white miso as well but I omitted those as my supermarket didn't have the first, and only had huge packs of the latter. There are other small changes as well, so if you want the original recipe - buy the book. (It's brilliant!)

I am going to try this again, but probably try to make the dressing a little bit lighter, possibly yogurtbased.

Frozen Lettuce
8 small servings

1 large head of iceberg lettuce

3 small cloves of garlic
4 tbsp (1/4 cup) vegetable oil (I use rapeseed)
1 egg yolk
8 tbsp (1/2 cup) mayonnaise
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 tbsp Worcestershiresauce
1 tbsp shallots
1 tbsp parmesan, grated
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
zest of a lemon

black pepper
chèvre (goat's cheese), crumbled
tiny croutons (If you don't fancy making your own, buy ready-made crostini and break into small pieces. Put in a sieve to get rid of any "dust".)

Cut the lettuce into eight wedges and place in a tight-lidded container. Freeze for 1-2 hours before serving.

Blanch the garlic cloves in boiling water for three minutes. Combine them with all the other ingredients for the dressing (except salt and pepper) in a small food processor or with a handheld blender. (Or whisk by hand, but then you must finely mince the garlic and shallot.) Season with salt and pepper. This can be prepared in advance, just put it in the fridge for a while.

To serve, pour the dressing on top of the lettuce, and top with crumbled goat's cheese and a small handful of croutons.

Recipe in Swedish:
Frusen sallad


Pille said...

Thank you, Anne! I was definitely intrigued by the frozen lettuce thingy, so I'm bookmarking this and will try to make it soon!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for opening a whole new world of recipes!

Emma said...

I just posted frozen grapes on my blog and thought that I was advanterous, but it is nothing compared to this, haha. Sounds interesting.

Greg said...

Very interesting - frozen lettuce. I find lettuce always wilts badly when frozen but I guess that is only when it thaws out. Serve it frozen! Who would have thought? By the way, white miso will keep forever in your fridge. Go ahead and get a big pack of it. You can use it for soups and rubbing on fish or chicken.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

mmmm...this recipe isn't what I was expecting when I read "frozen lettuce." It sounds great though. Thanks for an unusually delicious post.

Shandy said...

This sounds wonderful! WoW! and you know. . .I have the first Iron Chef Book published and until now, I have hardly opened it. After reading your right-up on frozen lettuce along with the recipe, I pulled the Iron Chef book back out and found out that this book actually contains recipes! I could not believe it! The book was given to me as a present from my now husband and at the time I just saw challenges and pictures! Thank you for helping me rescue a now much treasured book from my cookbook shelf! Hugs,
Shandy @ Pastry Heaven

David Hall said...

Frozen lettuce - thats a new one on me Anne?! Will have to try it in the summer.

Happy new year

Helene said...

You're going to smile but I realized one day the fridge was set toocold and noticed that one part of the lettuce was a bit frozen and when I bit into it I was happily surprised, so this makes complete sense! However I would have never thought to make it a "real" dish, thank you for that!! Looks delicious indeed!

Dianne's Dishes said...

Oh wow! This looks great! I love the concept of frozen lettuce. It's intriguing to say the least.

Brilynn said...

What an intriguing recipe! I definitely want to give this a try!

Tracy said...

When I read this post my first thought was, "why oh why didn't I think of EATING frozen lettuce?" I used to have a fridge that ALWAYS froze my lettuce. And of course I threw the lettuce away because once thawed it is terribly wilted. I could have saved a bundle if I had thought to eat the lettuce frozen. That Morimoto is a genius!

Anonymous said...

You really bastardized the original dressing with substitutes that don't compliment each other...

Anne said...

Anonymous - the only thing changed from the recipe is that omitted two things, so I really can't agree with you there. But you're certainly entitled to your opinion.