Considering lettuce

Most weeks, every CSA customer of ours gets a head of lettuce in their box – it’s an anchor vegetable, so to speak. And it’s interesting to us how long that lettuce can stretch out in a week. The farmer and I can go through a head of lettuce in one sitting, and when our son is home, he waits for us to take our servings and then just puts a fork into the bowl. Why is this?

Of course, I’d like to think it’s the presentation – delicate greens need nothing more than a light dressing of oil and vinegar to shine. Years ago, now, it seems, when Trinacria graced our town, the simple salad they served after the main course always caught my attention. Unassuming, honest, stripped down to a few essential ingredients, it was a course I always looked forward to. After a few attempts of trial and error, I came up with my own technique that has won over more than a few non-lettuce eaters. Be forewarned – I list no amounts, it’s all by feel.

Place your washed, spun (or blotted with a clean dishtowel), and torn lettuce in a bowl. Sprinkle a pinch of salt (I prefer kosher) around and toss a bit with tongs, two spoons, or whatever you have. Add a drizzle of olive oil, toss again. Add a splash of white wine vinegar (cider vinegar, rice wine, red wine or lemon juice can also work, just not white vinegar), and toss again. Voila! Taste and adjust seasonings. Stick a fork in the bowl.


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