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What is Mache?

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Posted: Monday, February 28, 2011 11:10 am

I have been asked about Mache so many times it's hard to count. Mache is my favorite salad green due to its tender, beautiful and sweet leaves. It's a lettuce that is commonly eaten raw and cooked in European cuisine. Mache is also known as Lamb's Ear lettuce. It can be tough to find. However, Trader Joe's in Stockton keeps it stocked pretty regularly. Because of its delicate nature, I prefer to prepare it simply.

A Simple Mache Salad

Bag of Mache greens

Butter - a tablespoon or so

Artisanal style French bread - one big piece

Good, flavorful olive oil

Lemon - the juice of one half to a whole

Parmesan - five to ten large shaved curls

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat with butter. Process bread in a food processor until its crumbs. Fry breadcrumbs in butter for a few minutes, stirring frequently until golden and toasty. Remove, sprinkle with salt and set aside. Use a vegetable peeler to create cheese curls. Place Mache in a bowl and drizzle with a little olive oil and toss until just barely covered and shiny. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste and toss a few times gently. Top with bread crumbs and finish with cheese shavings. A perfect and simple salad wonderful on its own or served alongside just about anything.

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