what to do with your overly ripe lettuce- bitter greens

Here's the chef cooking up a storm!

Lettuce get's bitter when it gets old, and some varities are just more bitter than others. I don't have a clue how to stop them from getting bitter but maybe they can be better just as they are...

We have some excess bitter greens our our life right now and I hate to throw them out. On their own they are too much, and despite not being much of a meat eater this turned out really well!

Stir-Fried Sirloin and Bitter Greens

1/4 Cup olive oil
3 T balsamic vinegar
4 cloves garlic
1 t kosher salt
1/2 t dried thyme (really does it need to be dried)
1/2 t cracked peppercorns (really why not just pepper)

Everything else:
1 1/2 lbs sirloin or flank steak cut 3/4 inch thick
4 T peanut oil (we used sesame not having peanut- it burns at a lower temp so it was a little smokey in here- so the peanut oil is advised)
1 Red onion
1/2 cup drained roasted red pepper strips from a jar- or if you are super ambitious why not roast your own.
4 cups bitter greens. Sean didn't use quite that many and we regretted it
1/4 C Balsamic vinegar

Marinade the steak in the marinade for 30 minutes and save the marinade.

Preheat a large skillet medium high heat (if using a wok use high heat), film with peanut oil and cook the beef in batches, stir-frying for 1 minute or until the outside surfaces are no longer pink. Transfer the meat to a warmed platter as it cooks. Ad some of the reserved marinate to the pan, then add some of the reserved marinade to the pan, then add the onion and red pepper. Stir-fry over high heat until glistening and golden about 2 minutes. Removed the warmed platter, cover and set aside.

Turn the heat to high and wipe the skillet with a little more oil. Quickly stir-fry the bitter green, just until wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Add vinegar and toss. Return to the steak, pepper and onion to the skillet and heat without stirring a minute or so. Transfer the mixture to the warmed platter, taking care to slide it onto the platter with the greens on the bottom and the veggies and meat on top.

I enjoyed it with a dollop of sour cream!

Eckhardt, Linda West; DeFoyd, Katherine West. Stylish one-dish Dinners Doubleday, New York. 1999. 13


  1. Hey you two. The garden looks great! We have only managed a tiny herb box, which is going crazy. Fresh parsley, oregon, lemon thyme. Here's an answer to your herb and pepper question:

    Q: When the herbs in my garden are gone, I don’t buy fresh ones; they’re too pricey. Can I use dried instead?

    A: While you wouldn’t want a dried-basil pesto or a dried-rosemary garnish, in most cases you can replace fresh herbs with dried and vice versa. The classic ratio is 3 fresh to 1 dried: Use 1 teaspoon dried herb to replace 3 teaspoons fresh. (That said, if your herbs have been “aging” for many months in your cabinet, make it 1 1/2 teaspoons dried rather than 1.) To get the most flavor from dried herbs, crumble them between your fingers before adding to a recipe.

    Pepper: The flavor from freshly cracked corns is much more intense than out of a jar/can. I LOVE pepper, so we only use a mill and if it calls for a teaspoon or whatever, I just sit there turning the top on the mill until I've cracked what I need. You can use whatever you have: jar/can, mill -- or maybe put some peppercorns in a bag and beat the crap out of them to relieve stress?!?! :-)


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