Saturday, June 06, 2009

For the Love of Lettuce

This week, my mom replanted her vegetable garden for the summer. Yes, a little on the late end, but up here there wouldn't be much growing at this point anyway. Except...

Lettuce! Last year's crop has sprung up again, and in great abundance, so mom sent me into the city with bags full of fresh lettuce this week. For an easy dinner on a rainy Friday night, I decided to use the lettuce. As you can see in the above picture, it was very much fresh from the garden, dirt and all. So I had a little bit of a project ahead of me. First, I tore up the lettuce into acceptable pieces.

The nice thing about having so much lettuce (and tearing up every piece by hand...) is that I could be very particular. Anything slightly wilted or brown was not going into my salad!

So after tearing, I washed everything down. Since Wright doesn't have a salad spinner (ha) I went ahead and set the lettuce piece in layers of paper towels. A hassle, but after trying a couple of the pieces, I knew it would be worth it. The lettuce was fresh, crisp and full of flavor.

Since the lettuce had a little more bite to it than non-backyard lettuce, I decided to make a fairly sweet salad. I made a vinaigrette with sauteed shallots, red wine vinegar, oil and honey. Then I mixed in some fresh goat cheese, dried cranberries, and toasted walnuts. I tossed it together and even Wright, who tends to laugh at salads, ate it for dinner. He did eat 3 slices of pizza later on in the evening, but I was pleased none the less! The salad was full of flavor and just sooo melt in your mouth, it was worth hand washing every piece. Never underestimate fresh lettuce!

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