Too Much Lettuce
I've been gardening forever. However, this year with my finances way down I decided to expand my garden. Things are going very well. Too well as far as the lettuce is concerned.
Right now I could go and cut the leaves and have enough to last until winter. I will, probably, quadruple that by the end of the growing season.
Problem is that lettuce doesn't stay fresh that long. Anybody know of a way to store lettuce for months at a time? I've googled and come up with nothing.
I have the same problem and just started to research solutions.
Here is an article with five ideas that look pretty good (I'm going to give the grilled lettuce a shot):
Leftover Lettuce: What To Do When You Have Too Much. | Ben Greenfield Fitness
Another recipe for a soup that sounds similar but good.
Found it here: Thyme For Cooking, the Blog: Lettuce Eat Soup!
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
4 cups shredded lettuce use outer or less than perfect leaves
1 - 2 tbs fresh tarragon
1 small - medium potato about 1/2 cup chopped
1 tbs olive oil
2 tbs fresh snipped basil
4 tsp plain yogurt or sour cream
2 slices bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
Chop shallot and potato. Heat oil in saucepan and sauté shallot for 2 minutes. Add potato, stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Chop or shred the lettuce. Snip tarragon. Uncover the saucepan and stir in the lettuce and tarragon. When lettuce has wilted (almost immediately) remove from heat and purée in a blender. Set aside to cool to room temperature or refrigerate for colder. Fry bacon until crisp. Remove, drain on paper towel and crumble. When ready to serve ladle into bowls, dollop 2 tsp of yogurt onto each serving, sprinkle with bacon, basil and serve.
Note: This soup can be made ahead and served cold, straight from the fridge.
Note 2: When I made this I didn't use potato but thickened it with 1 tbs cornstarch (like I do Hot and Sour Soup). I think the potato will smooth out the flavors and give a better 'feel' to it.
Thanks for the recipes. I will, undoubtedly, give them a try.
I ended up cutting off a lot of leaves and donated it to a local church to feed the homeless. They needed enough to feed 50 men. Basically, as a side salad. They do this once a week. I think with what I have I can keep this going for the next 3 months. They were very gracious to have the lettuce.
Obviously, I did not plan out my garden carefully enough. I usually have extras, but the lettuce was way more than one family can handle.
So, rather than cut back on the lettuce production for the next year I have decided I will set aside part of my garden to produce lettuce for feeding the homeless. With good planning I think I can provide them with enough lettuce for 6 months.
I know a lot of gardeners end up with more than they bargained for when they started their garden. So, instead of giving it away to friends and co-workers who may not want or need it, I would suggest you give your local food bank a call. They will, likely, welcome the contribution.