Calming lettuce noodles for a challenging day

by sophie on May 11, 2007 · 6 comments

Post image for Calming lettuce noodles for a challenging day

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. This one is so simple, it is really just a serving suggestion. No really, that’s not just me being modest, it literally is; I found it in that most unlikely of places for a recipe gem, the back of a lettuce packet!

These noodles are food at its most unchallenging. Effortless to make, easy on the mouth and completely lacking in feistiness (not hint of spice to be seen). They are a little bit bland even, but at the same time wonderfully calming. Sometimes that’s what you need after a hard day at work. If you’re feeling really pitiful, you could just eat a big bowl of these then go to bed, or if you’re not quite ready to hide under the duvet yet, have some salmon on the side, and maybe a green veg (It’s not very nutritionally hard-working that lettuce).

My theory is that the calming effect is two-fold in these noodles. Carbohydrates are well known for their sleep-inducing effects and then there is the lettuce which contains a mysterious substance called Lactucarium, which has sedative properties of its own. There is a very short wikipedia entry for Lactucarium and I was also amused to find out that the University of Huddersfield recommend lettuce sandwiches to ease their students insomnia during stressful times. You can’t use just any lettuce for this, it needs to be the untrendy sort with big leaves and crisp white veins, the sort that ooze a little bit of white stuff when you break them (the said lactucarium). Old-fashioned sweet English lettuces work a treat, as do varieties like Cos and Romaine.
(Due to its uncharacteristically herbal nature, this post is my entry for weekend herb blogging, hosted this week by PatL)

Recipe for Calming lettuce noodles

Boil some noodles, drizzle with a little sesame oil, stir through sliced strips of crispy lettuce and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Eat immediately.

You could try and be clever like me and use flax seeds instead of sesame seeds, for their ultra-high fibre content, but then you’d find out how pesky they are when wet (they stick to everything – surface, mixing bowl, plate, fork, sink, the list goes on).

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