Skip to content

Let Us Eat Lettuce

December 16, 2011

Cool weather has arrived in most of the United States.  Here in Southern California the gardener has begun the lettuce harvest.

In 36 years of harvest management I have yet to find a yummy way to preserve lettuce.    There’s nothing for it but to eat up.  Salad’s are an obvious choice, but a fresh tossed salad can only use just so much lettuce.  I have two recipes for Wilted Lettuce that make a nice warm salad that uses lots of lettuce, even for just two people.

Wilted Salad – This recipe comes from my Mom’s 1948 Betty Crocker Cookbook, page 374.    Thanks, Mom!

Fry 4 slices bacon, cut up, until crisp.
Add 1/4 cup vinegar, 2 tbsp. water.
Pour over 1 qt. shredded lettuce tossed with 2 green onions, chopped, 1 tsp. salt, pepper.
Sprinkle 1 chopped hard-cooked egg over top.

Betty Crocker fails to mention this, but you will want to serve right away.  This salad does not get better with age.


Vegan Wilted Lettuce Salad – I found this recipe one day when I wanted to make wilted salad but had no bacon.  I like it a lot and use it often, even if I do have bacon in the house.

2-3 heads leaf lettuce
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 to 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 to 1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon to 1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped white or red onions (I’ve used yellow to no ill effect)
2 drops liquid smoke

Wash, dry lettuce and cut into strips or ribbons.  Please in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper

Measure  vinegar, water, and sugar into a small bowl and mix.

In a fry pan bring olive oil to temperature over medium high to high heat.  Add onions.  Coat the onions with oil and let them sit for 1 or 2 minutes until they begin to crisp.   Now stir the onions around a bit until they crisp and brown.  When the onions are ready, pour in the liquid mixture.  Stir.

Bring to a boil, remove from heat, add liquid smoke.

Pour over the lettuce, mix, and serve.

I adapted this recipe from

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 21, 2011 10:48 am

    When you run out of ideas, you can put the unused lettuce into your vegetable stock. Only one of my lettuce seeds has resulted in a lettuce plant, so I won’t have that problem. Have a happy new year!

    • Cindy Shamel permalink*
      December 21, 2011 11:07 am

      Brilliant! Vegetable stock once again serves as the catch all for the garden’s abundance. Thanks for sharing.


  1. Don’t Panic | Save the Harvest
  2. Romaine Lettuce | Save the Harvest

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: