Salad of the Week: Marinated Lettuce Recipe

Salad of the Week: Marinated Lettuce Recipe
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Photo Modified: Flickr/liz west

This unusual Calabrian salad is called mappina, a dialect word for dishrag — because the oil-cured lettuce is damp and limp.

Adapted from The Country Cooking of Italy by Colman Andrews, (to be published in fall of 2011 by Chronicle Books.)

Ingredients

  • 4 romaine lettuce hearts
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt

Directions

Put the lettuce hearts into a rectangular glass or porcelain dish just large enough to hold them. Sprinkle them with the garlic and the red pepper flakes, then drizzle the oil over them. Season them to taste with salt.

Cut a piece of cardboard to just fit inside the dish, then wrap it in aluminum foil. Fit the cardboard on top of the lettuce, then weigh it down with 2 or 3 large cans of tomatoes (or something else). Refrigerate for 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Salad Shopping Tip

Buy green leafy vegetables like arugula, watercress, and collards – they are good sources of vitamins A, C, and K and minerals like iron and calcium.

Salad Cooking Tip

Brighten up sandwiches or salads with small, tender leaves like spinach and add larger, tougher leaves like kale to soups and stews.

Salad Wine Pairing

Salads with vinegar-based dressings don't go well with wine. Albariño, torrontés, or riesling with seafood or poultry salads in mayonnaise- or cream-based dressings; pinot gris/grigio, sauvignon blanc, sémillion, or grüner veltliner with salads with lemon juice-based dressings.