May 15, 2012

Wilted Lettuce Salad

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wilted lettuce salad topped with crispy Spanish chorizo

After a few days of non-stop rain, there was an abundance of butter lettuce in my garden pots. I planted only 4 tiny plants and regularly clip the leaves for salad, never uprooting them and more leaves come out after cutting either from the outside or the whole bunch 2 inches from where the leaves come out. This is the first time I planted lettuce and I never knew they yield salad greens all season long. 

Two of the clipped leaves were very slimy to the touch and full of holes. When I turned one over, there was a healthy looking slug happily munching on the lettuce. I just dropped them on the grass to let the slug finish them. I don't use pest control on any of my plants, I just gently spray the plants with water and feed them with a little vegetable food. When the tomato fruits are visible, I wrap them in unused knee-high stockings to prevent birds and squirrels from taking big bites out of them.

slug-eaten lettuce leaf

Wilted Lettuce Salad with Crispy Spanish Chorizo

from garden to dinner table

1 head butter or Boston lettuce
¼ cup thinly sliced Spanish chorizos
¼ cup chopped shallot
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
 2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon sugar
a pinch of freshly grated black peppercorns
  • Separate the lettuce leaves, wash, spin dry, and tear them into large pieces. Place in a medium size bowl; set aside. 
  • Fry the sliced chorizo in a dry skillet, preferably cast iron, until crispy. Drain and remove chorizo into a small plate and set aside, leaving the rendered fat in the skillet. Add olive oil to the skillet and saute shallot over medium-low heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the wine, water, sugar, salt, and ground pepper, and simmer until liquid is reduced by half.  Pour the hot dressing all over the lettuce and quickly toss. Sprinkle the crispy cooked Spanish chorizo on top. Serves 2.



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