One of the things my husband will tell you I ask him is whether he’s had anything green during the day. He’s fairly patient with this interrogation because he’s intelligent and knows that ultimately, regardless of what he eats, there have to be vegetables in his diet– especially brightly colored vegetables. But sometimes, green is enough, and often easier because all it takes to incorporate it into a day’s worth of meals is to have a salad. A big salad.
I know many think salad is a warm weather dish, but to me, it’s one of the easiest ways to make sure vegetables are on the plate. Fresh vegetables. Nothing fancy — just a mix of what sounds good, what’s in the fridge, or what’s in season. And?
The salad needs to take up half the plate.
I grew up eating salads made exclusively with iceberg lettuce. I’m sure many of us did, and from what we now know, it’s because that’s what was in the market. Zero choice. But one of the first types of lettuce I discovered when I was freshly moved out of my mother’s house was Boston Butter Lettuce. It was beautiful, delicate, and something I’d never seen before. Although I originally saw it in small heads placed in rows upside down in the produce rack, more and more, the heads I’ve become accustomed to seeing are larger. Much larger, and sealed safely inside plastic containers to keep them from being bruised. I felt decadent the first time I bought a head of butter lettuce, enjoying the tender leaves with all kinds of tasty salad ingredients, and thinking that yes, it tasted a bit on the buttery side.
During our short trip to Laguna Beach this past summer, we had a late lunch on the balcony overlooking the beach at The Beach House. Although we both agreed the food was wonderful, I especially enjoyed the completely green salad made of a whole head of butter lettuce and all other green ingredients tucked under the leaves. Avocado, green striped tomatoes, green onions — wonderful.
When I saw the “Boston Lettuce Salad with Herbs” in the September issue of Food & Wine, I decided to make a similar version of a delicious Boston Butter Lettuce Salad.
Perfect for dinner, a special occasion, or just lunch all by yourself.
Check off your greens for the day!