Two things that let us know Summer is officially here: Making wilted lettuce and a good ole' tomato sandwich.
If you aren't from the South, you may not understand the value of these two things, just hold on! You'll get it after the first bite!
I made wilted lettuce this week and every summer someone says to me, "I've never heard of that!" or "Eew, I can't imagine eating lettuce with bacon grease." My advice is to try it first.
In this post, I will share how I make it and when the tomatoes come in, we will talk about #2 on this list. One nugget I will share about an official summer tomato sandwich... it's not a true tomato until you can peel it before putting it on your sandwich! My grandmother taught us that is the ONLY way to eat a tomato.
Step 1, Cut the Lettuce.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE going to the garden to get something right before we eat it!
I use leaf lettuce and cut enough to fill a BIG bowl. You can never have too much!
Wash it off real good and lay on paper towels in layers to dry. I lay it flat on two paper towels and cover with another two and then add more and cover. Repeat until all your lettuce is covered. Don't have fresh lettuce? Shopping at the local farmers market is always a good option. We love the Murfreesboro Saturday Market!
Step 2, Cook the Bacon
I like to use an iron skillet (just my preference here because it reminds me of Grandmother). Use about 6-7 bacon strips. Cook until crispy. Remove from grease to let cool. Sit aside, you'll use this later. And keep those little fingers that like to do drive-by's out of it or you'll have to cook more!
Step 3, Doctor up the Bacon Grease
While the bacon grease is still hot in the skillet (be ready for popping!):
- Add 2 tablespoons of Red Wine Vinegar (can use regular vinegar if you want)
- Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- Add 1 teaspoon of sugar
- Add 1 teaspoon of black pepper
Stir together and pour over the lettuce while it's good and hot.
Continue stirring lettuce until it is all covered and beginning to wilt.
Break up that yummy bacon and sprinkle on top of the lettuce.
Step 4, Call in the family!
Now, be prepared, because you're about to be a rock star to everyone at the table!
Do something a little different? I'd love to hear your version of wilted lettuce in the comments below.