Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Iceberg Lettuce Salad

Iceberg Lettuce makes its way to GriggsDakota in the dead of Winter where it costs less than a couple of bottles of soda pop. When I think about the cost of production combined with the cost of transportation, it is amazing. The firmness of the heads and long lasting freshness contribute to its constant availability. It looks like a pile of Springtime in our GriggsDakota grocery. 
 My friend's Grandma cut Iceberg Lettuce into small pieces, topped it with a thin slice of tomato if she had one, sprinkled the salad with sugar and served it to us when we first sat down at her table as children. In truth there was probably less than a teaspoon of sugar added, no fat, no salt. For me, it was magic. No one told us to eat it or that it was good for us. A quick and simple plate of kid friendly goodness, we gobbled it down. 
Iceberg lettuce tastes especially good with blue cheese or bacon. For special occasions I splurge on a wedge of cheese that can be crumbled into the bowl with the salad. It can also be served on the side, of course.
To prepare, remove any distressed leaves from the head. Wash in clear water and pat dry. Holding the head firmly, smack the stem down on the kitchen counter.
Don't get carried away, but if you whack it hard enough, the veins to the stem will break. You can then easily peel back the stem to remove.
Discard the stem.
Iceberg Lettuce has been criticized for not containing as many nutrients as the darker leafy greens. However, children and many adults will not eat what is not sweet. The bitterness of dark leafy greens has caused some to reject lettuce altogether.
The head is cut into wedges, then topped with vegetables or other goodies, and served with a creamy dressing. Our favorite toppings include sunflower seeds, dried fruit, and chopped fresh or frozen vegetables.
We enjoy our fresh from the garden lettuce in the summer, and other greens when available.
 Often Iceberg lettuce is what is in the store and on the menu. We buy it to add fiber to our menus.
We use it in any salad recipe that calls for greens, because it is available, because it is affordable, because it is delicious. We often feed a crowd, so we chop up heads of lettuce and toss the salad before serving. The lettuce keeps its crunch very well.
And the cook in  the GriggsDakota kitchen has received no complaints.

1 comment:

  1. I am in the salad bowl of the world today in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Fresno and Tulare where I am visiting are the largest ag producing areas of the world and definitely contributing to our lettuce salad in the winter in North Dakota. Love it Mom.