Friday, January 7, 2011

Wilted Salad Greens

Traditionally known as "wilted lettuce," this tangy and deeply satisfying salad was commonly served back in the Day.  Generally speaking, I refer to the Day when people did not consume processed carbohydrates in the volumes and concentrations found in Big Gulps and giant Venti frappuccinos, unless they were hoisting bales of hay onto trucks all day, or suchlike.  And no one fueled themselves on chemical stews of fractured transfats, because they were not concocted yet. 

Thus, real fat (butter and such) wasn't cause for any hand-wringing.  In fact, our (mostly long-lived) forebears would probably have prepared significantly more of the hot dressing for this salad, hence the "wilted" moniker.  But the amounts I use here won't take down your lettuce volume by much.

As we further reduce the amount of processed carbohydrates we consume, and prepare more fresh vegetables, we find that adding real fat becomes appropriate.

Options for additions and variations are many:  hard boiled eggs, green onions, herbs, cream in the dressing ... personalize it your way, or find your grandma's recipe for wilted lettuce and find out just how good the Good Old Days really could be!

If you use bacon you have already cut up, fried, and frozen, just heat it in a little skillet to crisp it and release some of the fat, then use olive oil to reach the 2 tablespoons of fat amount.

A medium sized bowl of fresh, CSA salad greens
Natural bacon
Olive oil
Sucanat or agave syrup

In a little skillet, fry about a cup of bacon pieces (about 4-5 slices).  Remove bacon to drain.  To the bacon fat, add enough olive oil to reach a volume of about
2 tablespoons.  Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar (any kind, really), and  2 teaspoons of your chosen sweetener.  Sprinkle on some salt.  Whisk and cook a little, until the sweetener is dissolved and the liquid is hot.

Spoon the hot dressing in a swirl over your salad greens.  Scatter the bacon pieces atop.

Makes 4 hearty servings

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