The best ways to cook lettuce

"Lettuce is easy to grow and I find it immensely satisfying to nip down to the kitchen garden and cut off a few leaves for a salad just before we eat it. The hardest part of anything homegrown is washing it, because everything is invariably covered in mud and slugs, unlike your average plastic-wrapped competitor. The intensity of flavour speaks for itself, however, which makes it all worthwhile."

Fillet steak with roasted lettuce, bacon and a creamy

avocado dressing

Serves 4


4 150g-200g fillet steaks
2 cloves garlic
4 small firm-hearted lettuces,
such as Little Gem
4 rashers unsmoked bacon
1 avocado
1tbspn olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1tspn wholegrain mustard
1tspn honey

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Take the fillet steaks out of the fridge an hour before you need them so the meat can be at room temperature before you cook it. Brush olive oil over the steaks and then rub a peeled clove of garlic over their surface. Cook the steaks in a hot frying pan, turning several times, for about 15 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 180˚C/350˚F/gas 4. Vertically cut the lettuces into quarters and brush them with olive oil. Place them on an oven tray and roast for about 10 minutes or until you see the edges beginning to crisp and singe a little.

Prepare the dressing by pushing an avocado through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard and honey and whisk until thoroughly combined. Taste for seasoning.
Cut the bacon rashers into lardons. Remove the steaks from the pan, add the lardons and fry them until browned.

Arrange the lettuce wedges on plates, scatter them with the lardons and pour the avocado dressing over them. Serve with the steak and buttered new potatoes.

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