I enjoy salad year round, but never quite so much as in the summertime, when its crisp, light, refreshing-ness perfectly fits the bill for almost every meal.
Most of the time, I load our salads with whatever veggies are happening at the farmers market and, as the season progresses, our own garden. But sometimes, amidst awe for the tomato and cucumber and radish and carrots, it’s easy to overlook the star of the show.
What would a salad be without it? A whole lot less crunchy and refreshing, to be sure.
But lettuce is more than a vehicle for dressing or a background for other garden treats. Lettuce can actually add flavor.
That’s right—tasty lettuce is not an oxymoron.
Buy a beautiful head at the farmers market—isn’t the one above the sexiest thing you’ve ever seen?—or better yet, grow some of your own, and you’ll see what I mean.
Lettuce, even sans accoutrement, can have beautiful sweetness and brightness and sometimes even a nicely mild bitterness.
So much so that one of my favorite salads is the exact opposite of loaded. It’s just lettuce, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
I especially like this simply exquisite creation with a fruity olive oil and white balsamic vinegar. But any good olive oil and vinegar will do.
As long as the lettuce is amazing.
Which, if you go beyond the store bought stuff, it truly can be.