Lettuce stuffed with ricotta, lemon and pecorino
Serves 4 Try to buy tender butterhead lettuces for this recipe because they have no bitterness. Serve with grilled pork chops.
— 100g butter, melted — 2 butterhead lettuces — 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil — 1 garlic clove, crushed to a purée with a little salt — 8 tbsp ricotta — 4 tbsp pecorino, grated — zest of ½ lemon — ½ tsp nutmeg, grated — 2 egg yolks
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 5.
Brush the base of a 20 x 20cm ovenproof dish with some of the melted butter.
Cut each lettuce in half, from the root end to the top, exposing the pale lettuce heart. Take off any damaged leaves and trim the root if dirty. Cut out the centre of each lettuce, leaving behind a sturdy shell of outer leaves. Chop the hearts and put them in a pan with the oil and garlic. Cook over a low temperature until the lettuce wilts.
Remove from the heat and put in a bowl with the ricotta, pecorino, lemon zest, nutmeg, egg yolks and some seasoning. Mix to combine.
Take one lettuce shell and spoon a quarter of the mixture on to its centre. Place it in the ovenproof dish. Repeat with the other three shells so you have all four sitting snugly in the dish. Brush the exposed lettuce leaves with melted butter.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the lettuces are soft and the filling bubbles. Serve immediately.