Salad of Lamb Sweetbreads and Cèpes

  • Serves

    serves 4


(Poele de Ris d'Agneau et de Cepes)
The lamb sweetbreads required in this recipe may be special-ordered from your butcher. Sometimes they're available only in ten-pound packages, but they freeze well and are a delicious and unusual alternative to calf's sweetbreads.


  • 2 12 lb. lamb sweetbreads
  • Salt
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 10 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 24 medium cèpes (porcini), stemmed, cleaned, and halved
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 large head green leaf lettuce, paler green leaves only, leaves separated and cut into large pieces
  • 1 medium head frisée or chicory, leaves seperated and cut into large pieces
  • 12 head radicchio, leaves separated and cut into large pieces
  • 12 bunch chives, chopped


Step 1

Soak sweetbreads in a large bowl of salted ice water for 2 hours, changing water every 30 minutes or so. Drain; then, working under cold running water, pull off and discard any fat and sinew from sweetbreads. Set sweetbreads aside. Bring 6 cups of salted water to a boil in a medium pot. Remove pot from heat, add vinegar and sweetbreads, and set aside to let sweetbreads set for 20 minutes. Drain, then plunge sweetbreads into a large bowl of ice water and allow to cool. Drain, pat dry, and set aside.

Step 2

Heat 3 tbsp. of the oil in each of 2 large skillets over medium-high heat. Add half the mushrooms to each pan and sauté, stirring often, until deep golden brown, about 7 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, transfer to a medium bowl, and loosely cover to keep warm. Return skillets to medium-high heat and add half the remaining oil to each. Add half the sweetbreads to each skillet and sauté, turning once, until lightly browned, 3–5 minutes. Season with cayenne and salt and pepper to taste.

Step 3

Toss salad greens together in a bowl, then divide between 4 large plates. Spoon some of the sweetbreads and mushrooms onto greens, then sprinkle each salad with some of the chives.

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