Ant Brown’s Braised Baby Gem Lettuce with Peas, Mint, Bacon and Mustard Mayonnaise

Cumbrian chef, Antony Brown treats us to another seasonal recipe. Head over to Ant’s Facebook page @antbrown to watch him cook this dish live.


Lake District Coast Aquarium

A play on the classic dish Petit Pois a la Francaise, this side dish works really well with a variety of meats, fish, or vegetable main courses. I’ve served it alongside a beautiful roast rack of local Hogget and some seasonal Purple Sprouting Broccoli.

Roast Baby Gem

  • 2 x Baby Gem, cut lengthways
  • 1 x Fennel, chopped
  • 1 x Shallot or small Onion, chopped
  • 1 x Clove of Garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ Glass of White Wine
  • 500 ml of Vegetable or Chicken Stock
  • 200g Frozen Peas
  • Juice of ½ Lemon
  • 200g Purple Sprouting Broccoli, blanched and cooled immediately in cold water
  • 6 x Leaves of fresh Mint, shredded


Mustard Mayonnaise topping

  • 1 x Tablespoon of Mayonnaise
  • 1 x Teaspoon of Dijon
  • 25g of Finely Grated Parmesan
  • Squeeze of Lemon Juice
  • 3 x Rashers of Streaky Bacon, sliced and fried until crispy
  • ½ tablespoon of chopped chives mixed with the crispy bacon


  1. Gently sauté the fennel, garlic and shallot in a little vegetable oil until tender
  2. Add the wine and reduce the liquid by half
  3. Add half of the stock and let the mix gently reduce
  4. Meanwhile heat a separate frying pan, season the baby gem with salt and sugar, and fry in a tablespoon of vegetable oil until beautifully caramelised
  5. Remove the baby gem and set to one side, and then add to the vegetable mix
  6. At the same time add the blanched broccoli to the pan and cook it together for 2 minutes to heat through
  7. Now add the frozen peas, and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  8. Remove the baby gem from the pan, dry on paper towel and coat the caramelised side with the mustard mayonnaise and crispy bacon and chive mix
  9. Add the mint and lemon to the pea mix, and taste for seasoning
  10. Plate up the peas mixture, and place the gem and broccoli on top alongside the meat, fish or vegetable of your choice!
Camping At Cardewlees
Lake District Coast Aquarium

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