Lettuce that has grown too old for salad may still be cooked, forming a very palatable dish. Wash four or five heads of lettuce, removing the thick bitter stalks and retaining only the sound leaves. Cook in boiling, salted water for ten or fifteen minutes; drain in a colander, pouring cold water over them. Chop and reheat with butter and seasoning or with cream sauce.
Beets are usually thickly sowed, and as the young plants begin to grow they must be thinned out. These plants make delicious greens, and even the tops of the ordinary market beets are good if properly prepared. Examine the leaves carefully to be sure that there are no insects on them; wash thoroughly in several waters, and put over the fire in a large kettle of boiling water. Add a teaspoon of salt for every two quarts of greens; boil rapidly about thirty minutes or until tender; drain off the water; chop well and season with butter and salt.
Perhaps no other vegetable requires such care in the preparation as spinach. In the first place it takes a great deal of time, water and patience to wash it clean. Cut off the roots; break the leaves apart; drop them in a large pan of water; rinse well; lift them out separately and drop back into a second pan of water. Continue washing in fresh waters until there is not a grain of sand to be found in the bottom of the pan. Drain the spinach and drop it into boiling water, allowing three quarts of water and one tablespoon of salt to a half peck of spinach. Let it boil for twenty minutes or more, counting from the time it begins to boil, and drawing the cover of the saucepan to one side to allow the steam to escape. Empty into a colander; pour cold water over the spinach; drain and mince fine. Return to the fire with seasoning and butter, or drippings from roast beef or chicken if preferred. Garnish with hard-boiled egg or serve with cream sauce.
Gather young dandelion plants before they have flowered; cut off the roots; wash thoroughly; boil in salted water about one hour, leaving the lid partly off. Drain and chop fine; season with salt, pepper or vinegar, and a liberal measure of butter.
If cooked with half spinach or beet greens it is less bitter and more palatable to some people. In this case the dandelion should be partly cooked before the other vegetable is added.
Wash and trim the leeks and cook them in boiling salted water until soft. Drain thoroughly; season with butter, salt and pepper, and serve.
1 quart peeled and cut artichokes 1 pint milk 1 small onion
1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon flour 1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Wash and peel the artichokes and cut them into small cubes; put in a double boiler; cover with milk; add the onion and cook twenty minutes. Beat the butter and flour together and stir them into the milk; add the seasoning and cook for a half hour longer.