17 June 2008

Hot Weather Cooking: Take 2

I have an embarrassing secret to tell you. I love iceberg lettuce. Like if I could only eat one lettuce for the rest of my life, iceberg and romaine would have a throw down, and I am not sure which would come out on top. It would be a battle to the death methinks. There are those of you out there who understand (Dad) my obsession with the crisp, crunchy, watery lettuce. And, of course, there are those of you who think I am nuts (Laura) because iceberg has no real flavor. I would disagree, and suggest that iceberg merely as a very delicate flavor and really is more about texture anyway. I know iceberg has come back into fashion of late with the wedge salads that are ubiquitous on steak house menus around the country. But I prefer the lettuce chopped and tossed with lots of other ingredients to make a delicious, summery, crunchy dinner.

I think my love of iceberg is somewhat genetic. No dinner was complete without the family salad - torn (not cut) iceberg lettuce, little sliced rounds of carrots that were impossible to get your fork into, sliced celery (don't you dare throw out those hearts!) and 2 side dishes - one with beautiful ruby red canned whole beets and one with big, fat, black canned olives. The dressing? Olive oil and red wine vinegar. Add salt and pepper only if you dare. I love this salad. I still crave it - my mom always has it for me on my birthday. In fact my mom will often call me at work and entice me to come over for dinner by saying "But we are having saaaallllaaad". Evil temptress. I usually end up over at my parents' house, still chomping away at the crunchy lettuce and chasing those damn little carrots around my bowl with my fork. I love a nice red leaf lettuce salad, or some beautiful spinach topped with apples and cheddar, but my heart truly belongs to simple iceberg salads.

So tonight for dinner I surveyed the contents of my refrigerator and came up with a simple, yet delicious, salad. I had some left over grilled boneless, skinless chicken thighs, that I chopped into bite size pieces. I tossed the chicken with crunchy chopped iceberg lettuce, sliced local cherry tomatoes, chopped local cilantro, sliced avocado, and topped it off with a hearty grating of local Meadow Maid Colby cheese (that is to die for!). The dressing was simple - red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper - would you expect anything more?!

1 comment:

RecipeGirl said...

I personally don't think you're nuts. I grew up on Iceberg, as did I think almost everyone who grew up in the 70's. I'm quite fond of it with big blobs of blue cheese dressing on it. But I do agree with Laura... no flavor... it's all about the crunch!