Braised stuffed cos lettuce

Gennaro Contaldo creates a little mealtime magic using sunshine vegetables and stale bread, just as his Grandmother did when he was a child
By Gennaro Contaldo
Braised stuffed cos lettuce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 0.5 yellow peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 7 green olives, finely sliced
  • 1 small aubergine
  • 1 courgettes, finely chopped
  • 1 bunches flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 pinches black pepper
  • 100 g stale bread, roughly chopped
  • 75 g parmesan, freshly grated
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 large cos lettuce, opened up gently and small central leaves removed
  • 600 ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan to a medium temperature. Add the onion, garlic, yellow pepper, tomato, olives, aubergine and courgette and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the parsley and season with salt and pepper. 2. Reduce the heat and continue to cook the vegetables until soft - another 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. 3. Place the bread in a food processor or blender and whiz to very fine crumbs. Add the breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan to the vegetables, together with the eggs. Mix until smooth and season with salt and pepper if required. 4. Fill the Cos lettuce with this mixture and tie it tightly with string. Stand the lettuce up and gently tap it on the work surface so the filling goes down well. 5. Place it in a large pan, add the stock and cover the pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 40 minutes, checking from time to time to make sure the liquid has not evaporated - if necessary, add a little more stock or water. 6. After the first 10 minutes, drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil. If the filling escapes, don't worry - just gently push it in with a wooden spatula. 7. Serve hot or cold, untied and cut into slices. If serving hot, leave to stand for five minutes before slicing.

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