Nurturing our roots and relishing life

Balsamic Liver Lettuce Boats

Balsamic Liver Lettuce Boats

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Most folks I run across do not go out of their way to eat liver.  Some studiously avoid it.  I think I’m one of the few that remembers it growing up and can actually enjoy it as an adult.

Scott and I are on opposite ends of the liver consumption spectrum.  He would rather eat a raw habanero pepper than eat liver.  I am attempting to convince him to try following the autoimmune protocol for a month with me.  I think everyone can benefit from doing a dietary cleanse periodically, whether or not you’re suffering from an autoimmune disease.  So far, liver has been the biggest stumbling block to my success.

I needed to come up with a recipe that would be quick and easy and make liver not just tolerable, but actually enjoyable.  I do believe I have hit pay dirt with this, as even my liver-avoidant hubby went back for seconds!  He’s still not a fan of the texture, but I did get an apology for all the disparaging remarks that were made during recipe development!

If you aren’t familiar with all the nutritional benefits of eating organ meat, you should be!  It is THE original superfood!  Liver is higher in almost every micronutrient than any other food, including the muscle meat of the same animal, and contains vital nutrients that are hard to find anywhere else, such as CoQ10!  I notice a distinct difference in my energy levels, mental acuity, and over-all feeling of health and well-being when I consume liver on a regular basis.  Of course, you want to be sure to source it from healthy, pastured animals!

It is unfortunate that liver has been so unfairly demonized by mainstream medical practitioners, particularly for pregnant women!  At a time when your body needs the best nutrition possible, women are discouraged from eating some of the most nutritious foods out there.  The confusion comes from the vitamin A content of liver, primarily in the form of retinol.  Studies were conducted that showed synthetic vitamin A supplementation could be toxic and contribute to birth defects when taken in excess of 100,000IU/day.

And, indeed, synthetic vitamin A poisoning can be very problematic and potentially deadly to young children.  However, studies conducted in Italy and Switzerland in the late 1990’s on the effects of liver consumption by pregnant women found that consumption of up to 50,000 IU per day of vitamin A from liver had no negative effects whatsoever on the developing babies.  For perspective, you would have to eat 200g of lamb liver every single day to reach those levels.  Pregnant women pregnant women were encouraged to eat liver regularly because of its tremendous health benefits until after World War II!

I get my lamb liver from Community Natural Foods here in Calgary.  They source their lamb from Ewe-Nique Farms near Champion, Alberta. The lambs live on pasture all summer and are fed a hay and grain ration during our cold Alberta winters.  They are almost always in stock and frequently for 10%-20% off.  It is a good sized cut of meat for roughly $5.00, which works out to about $1.00 per serving.  It’s pretty hard to beat that price.

Balsamic Liver Lettuce Boats

Category: entree

Cuisine: British

Yield: 4

Balsamic Liver Lettuce Boats

A delicious way to serve lamb liver that is husband and toddler approved!


  • 1/2lb bacon, diced
  • 1 fennel bulb, diced
  • 3 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
  • 1lb lamb liver, diced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, duck fat, butter, or fat of choice
  • 5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons bone broth
  • Romaine lettuce leaves


  1. Fry bacon on med heat until almost done. Increase heat to med-high and add fennel. Stir to brown the outside, and cook until fennel is just starting to soften. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl and set aside (keep warm!) and return pan to heat.
  2. Salt tapioca flour to taste. Toss with diced liver to coat. Add coconut oil to pan. Once hot, add liver and stir to cook evenly for about 2 minutes or until the liver is just done. DO NOT OVERCOOK!!!! Add liver to bacon fennel mix and return pan to heat.
  3. Add balsamic vinegar and broth and deglaze pan, scraping up all the little tasty bits. Stir until sauce starts to thicken. Add liver mixture to pan and stir to coat.
  4. Arrange three crisp romaine lettuce leaves on each plate and fill each leaf with liver mixture.
  5. Enjoy!

This post has been shared on Simply Natural SaturdaysTasty TuesdaysPaleo AIP Recipe Roundtable, Full Plate ThursdayAllergy Free Thursdays, Foodie Friday, Gluten Free Fridays, Foodie Friends Friday, and Awesome Life Fridays!

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