February 21, 2020
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Another Great Way to Use Local Lettuce

Published Jun 27, 2019 • Last Updated 11:47 am, June 25, 2019

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My first visit to pick up my CSA was on a warm, pretty afternoon.

That week there were fat gorgeous strawberries on a counter and baggies of herbs. From the refrigerator, I chose lots of different types of lettuces, some blue mushrooms (local but not from the farm), some blue cheese from Mystic Cheese Company, and French radishes. Each week there will be more and more choices. This is going to be a terrific summer of cooking and eating.

Over the weekend, for the first time, I finished the Sunday New York Times on Sunday. I also went through The Day, four weeks of the New Yorker, and my latest edition of Bon Appetit. While that magazine, and most other June magazines, are called the grilling issue, I found some incredible salad ideas in Bon Appetit, including one with cantaloupe and snap peas. Then I noticed this recipe that could be ready to eat in under 20 minutes and carb free, using my favorite lettuce, bibb or butter lettuce.

Lee White of Old Lyme has been a food editor and restaurant reviewer for more than 25 years. You can email her at

Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps

From Bon Appetit, June/July, 2019


Yield: 4 servings


2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon sambal oelek or sriracha

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar (light brown sugar will do)

1 teaspoon fish sauce

3 scallions

2 garlic cloves

1 pound ground chicken

Salt to taste

Butter or bibb lettuce leaves, thoroughly washed and dried

For serving: lime wedges and ramekin of sriracha for a little

more heat


Mix together the soy sauce, sambal olelek or Sriracha, sugar, and fish sauce in a small bowl and set aside.

Trim the dark green parts of the scallions and slice thin. Set aside this part for serving. Thinly slice the white and pale green parts. Finely chop the garlic cloves.

In a skillet, heat the oil over medium. Cook scallions and garlic, stirring occasionally, until softened (a little color is okay), about 3 minutes. Add ground chicken and lightly season with salt. Cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon and tasting occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Add reserved soy sauce mixture and cook, tossing occasionally, until liquid is almost completely reduced, about 2 minutes.

Serve in a platter with lettuce leaves topped with chopped dark green scallions.

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