Wilted Lettuce Salad
This is a traditional country favorite
that can accompany an entree or can be the main course, depending
upon how many fixin's you want to add.
The dressing is the star which starts
with hot bacon fat or oil that can be heated, such as light olive oil
or sunflower oil, is mixed with apple cider vinegar or red wine
vinegar and then drizzled over the lettuce, hence wilted lettuce. At
it's most basic it is good fresh lettuce and the dressing, however,
the following are some suggested things to add to make it a meal.
½ cup of bacon fat or oil that can be heated without burning
½ cup of vinegar – apple cider or red wine
½ cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
1 large or 2 small heads of lettuce – almost any variety works but the tender types like oakleaf and butterhead wilt easier that more substantial varieties like romaine that stay crisp
bacon bits – That's how we got the bacon fat! 4 to 6 slices cut in small strips
croutons – We used Annie's Bakery whole wheat sandwich bread and made croutons by cutting it up in cubes and coating it with olive oil and garlic scapes that were pureed in the food processor and heating until toasted in a 325 degree oven.
hard boiled eggs – 3 to 6 depending upon how much lettuce
Feta cheese – crumbled in small pieces
Prepare the ingredients for the salad and wash and drain the lettuce. Place in a bowl large enough that everything can be tossed with tongs or a salad fork and spoon.
Cook the bacon and remove from pan and set aside. If there isn't enough bacon fat, then add some oil to make up the difference. Reduce the heat to low and add the onion and garlic and cook lightly, about 5 minutes.
Add the vinegar and reduce the heat to a simmer and heat until the liquid just bubbles, about 5 minutes.
Add the rendered bacon to the lettuce and drizzle the dressing and toss to coat. Serve promptly.