On Board in 20: Butter Lettuce Lamb Kofta with Arugula Gremolata
Three different lettuce varieties are the star of this 20 minute lamb kofta meal.
The storm before the calm. That is what these days feel like in June. There is just a flurry of activities and engagements as everything wraps up for the summer. Even before I was awarded the prestigious title of MOM, I remember June feeling this way. July and August, in my neck of the woods, are the sacred “days of summer”. Work days seem to wrap a little earlier, happy hours run a little later. Now with only a mere handful of months left before full time school starts, I feel a desperate need to make each moment last just a minute or two longer. I wrestle with skipping school for fun adventures or not missing any of the scarce days that remain. I know. It’s four year old preschool. What is he really going to miss you ask? Well he IS “middle billy goat gruff” in the year end play and that kind of responsibility needs practice.
As I scan our family calendar – still on paper, I just can’t convert yet – it’s chalked full of back-to-backs. Play date to golf to soccer wind up party. Baseball to swimming to fathers day craft night. Berry picking. Science World. Picnics in the park with friends. It sounds a little tiger mom-ish as I write it but I feel we still have a balance of up time with down time. What we DON’T have a lot of time for these days is dinner prep. As I look at meal prep as a time to recipe test for the goodness that winds up here, I find myself looking up my own 20 minute dinners. These are becoming a weeknight lifesaver.
This month’s On Board in 20 meal has us partnered with Produce Made Simple for a special spotlight on lettuce. I am so excited about this partnership as I am very cognizant over brands I partner with and thus far, I have been fortunate enough to be able to work exclusively with whole food ambassadors. When most people hear the word lettuce, their minds usually jump right to salad. These days, lettuce has so much more to offer. It can be the star of a comforting bowl of soup, grilled on the BBQ or blended into your morning smoothie. This time we used three different varieties of lettuce, each bringing their own unique role to the dinner table.
Butter lettuce is a great varietal to use as a substitute for a wheat based wrap. Here the lamb and couscous sit nicely on a bed of butter lettuce and can be either tackled with a knife and fork or folded up and eaten taco style. It is a very mild lettuce that is very quick to clean, making it a great addition to a 20 minute meal. The real star of the dish however is the gremolata. Traditionally made with parsley, we substituted with spicy arugula. Its fresh and peppery and pairs well with a stronger protein such a lamb. The final lettuce component were some super fresh mircogreens. These little greens are easy to find at your local markets and are a great staple for the fridge. They fight well above their weight class when it comes to nutritional value and even at the family dinner table we eat with our eyes first, so take the few seconds to add a sprinkle of fresh greens.
I hope your June is filled with a perfect balance of fun wind up events and gatherings plus the tickle of excitement a wide open summer brings. I know I look forward to moving my cooking outdoors straight away. What meals do you make this time of year that signal bring on the dog days of summer?