Lettuce in salad and quiche

How much lettuce, in one sitting, is too much lettuce?  Let me give you a context.  On Monday, we got 4 heads of lettuce from our CSA.  This is in addition to the head and a half we had left from last week.  So, of course, the more lettuce we could use in a single meal, without actually becoming rabbits, the better.  We came up with a relatively reasonable-sounding menu: lettuce and pea quiche (not as weird as it sounds!) with home-made Caesar salad.

The lettuce and pea quiche recipe comes courtesy of cea‘s mum; we’d made it once last summer and it was at the top of our list for the lettuce again this year.  We started by boiling 2/3 of a bag of frozen peas for about 5 minutes.  While that was going, we sautéed about 1.5 medium heads of lettuce (we used “red sails” and “red tide” lettuce) in 1 tbs olive oil on medium heat until the leaves were wilted, then added the peas and cooked a minute longer.

Next, we beat 3 eggs, 1 cup half and half, and 2/3 cup milk in a bowl (the original recipe called for heavy cream and milk), then added the lettuce/pea mixture, grated Parmesan, and salt and pepper.  We poured this into a pre-made frozen savory crust I had in the freezer, topped it with fresh sage, and tossed it into the oven at 375 °F.  (We had actually made too much filling for these small premade crusts—we had to bake part of it in a separate bowl.)  About a half hour later, the quiche was done, a beautiful golden color.

To go with the quiche, we made Mark Bittman’s Caesar salad recipe, which he recently published in the Times.  We followed the recipe fairly closely, and used the sauce to dress a head of buttercrunch lettuce and some croutons which I slightly burned and dsd scraped clean.  To be honest, the sauce didn’t really come together for us.  We certainly used too much anchovy, and we probably could have used more oil or more Parmesan.  (Also, the Parmesan would have been much better had it been microplaned, and not coarsely grated.)  I would try this again some day, but I’m not in a hurry to.  Still, the farm-fresh lettuce was fantastic!

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