Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Changing My Tune

In the past, I've been known to say things like, "Look!  Our psychotic felines who eat everything won't even eat lettuce!  Proof positive that lettuce is completely useless!"  In terms of salad greens, I'll choose arugula over just about everything, followed by spinach, followed by mixed greens if I must.  I eat the mixed greens because they're there, or I should, but not because I'm particularly enthusiastic about them.  I will eat buckets of arugula, but I'm just not stoked about lettuce. 

I am a gardener so I really should know this already - it turns out I just wasn't eating the right lettuce.

Last week I went out to the garden to harvest some fresh lettuce that had magically appeared through very little effort on my part.  It was there so I should eat it, I thought.  Well, lettuce straight out of the garden and into the salad is a completely different beast from the bags one gets at the supermarket or even the Farmer's Market.  It was crisp!  And fresh!  And tasty in that watery way that lettuce has of being tasty!  I actually liked it! 

I am officially ready to change my tune and start singing the praises of lettuce.  In fact, I was so pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it that I went out on Saturday and planted four feet of Tennis Ball lettuce seeds.  I may have to put up a shade cloth or something to keep them from bolting, but for the first time I actually think it's worth it to try to grow my own lettuce.  I can't wait for the next harvest!

In honor of this new-found yummy vegetable, here is the salad that I made with those first delectable leaves.  Enjoy!

Lettuce and Pear and Blue Cheese and Walnut Salad
adapted from everywhere- this is a really standard salad combo
Serves 4

for the salad:
8-10 leaves Butterleaf lettuce
1 ripe pear
1/4 cup Blue cheese crumbles
1/4 cup chopped Walnut pieces

for the dressing:
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard*

Chop lettuce into nice bite-sized chunks.  Chop pear into smaller bite-sized chunks (I leave the peel on).  Put lettuce, pear, blue cheese, and walnuts into a bowl.  Toss.

Put olive oil, white wine vinegar, and mustard into a jar.  Shake until emulsified.  Drizzle over salad. 


Note: I use Trader Joe's aioli garlic mustard sauce - this stuff is the best

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