Ingredients.—1 pint of lentils, 1 oz. of butter, ½ an oz. of flour, ½ a pint of stock or milk, 1 finely-chopped onion, salt and pepper.
Method.—Soak the lentils overnight in plenty of water, drain, cover them with boiling water, add a little salt, and boil gently until soft but not broken. Fry the onion in the butter until lightly browned, add the flour, and when it has cooked for 2 or 3 minutes, put in the stock or milk, and stir the mixture until it boils. Strain and add the lentils, season to taste, cook gently for a few minutes, then serve. Or soak, boil and drain the lentils as directed above, season to taste with salt and pepper, stir in a little butter, then serve.
Time.—About an hour. Average Cost, 2d. per pint. Seasonable at any time.
Method.—These form one of the principal ingredients of summer salads. They are seldom served in any other way, but may be stewed and sent to table in a good brown gravy flavoured with lemon-juice. In preparing them for salad, carefully wash them free of dirt, pick off all the decayed and outer leaves, and dry them thoroughly by shaking them in a cloth. Cut off the stalks, and either halve, or cut the lettuces into small pieces. The manner of cutting them up entirely depends on the salad for which they are intended. In France, the lettuces are sometimes merely wiped with cloth, and not washed, the cooks there declaring that the art of washing them injuriously affects the pleasant crispness of the plant; in this case, scrupulous attention must be paid to each leaf, and the grit thoroughly wiped away.
Average Cost.—From 1d. to 2d. per head. Obtainable all the year.
The Lettuce (Fr. laitue).—In its young state the lettuce forms a well-known and wholesome salad, containing a clear, tasteless, and inodorous liquid, with soothing and cooling properties. When flowering, if the plant be cut or wounded, it discharges a peculiar milky juice, which possesses medicinal properties. From the inspissated juice of the lettuce opium is obtained.
Fresh Lima beans may be treated in the same manner as fresh peas, and the dried beans may be prepared and cooked according to the directions given for dressing haricot beans and lentils.
See Tinned Peas, to Dress, Recipe No. 1559. Follow the directions given, but omit the mint.
1527.—MAIZE, OR INDIAN CORN. (Fr.—Mais.)
Ingredients.—2 young cobs of Indian corn, 3 quarts of water, 3 tablespoonfuls of salt.