We’re visiting my in-laws again and, just like last time, my mother-in-law cooked up an amazing meal. Grilled pork chops, cooked carrots and broccoli, garden lettuce, baked potatoes, and strawberry shortcake. Yum yum yum.
For me, the best part was the lettuce. (Not saying I didn’t go back for seconds on that strawberry shortcake and lick my plate clean both times.) Freshly picked garden lettuce is pretty, full of good-for-you nutrients, and tasty. But what I like most about it is that it brings me back to childhood.
We didn’t have a huge garden when I was young, but come summertime, there was always plenty of tomatoes, zucchini, and lettuce. I wanted nothing to do with the zucchini, but my mom taught me a way to eat the tomatoes and lettuce that very much appealed–sprinkled with sugar. I’ve since seen many folks sprinkle sugar over sliced tomatoes, but I don’t see much sugar-topped lettuce. Which is a shame. The slight bitterness in baby lettuce leaves pairs well with a (very) light coating of sugar. Rolled up, the lettuce makes fun finger food. And the sugar’s graininess provides texture contrast to the soft, tender lettuce leaves.
If you have freshly picked garden lettuce or young lettuce from a farmers’ market, give this a try. Then share the “recipe” with the children in your life. When they one day have gardens of their own, they’ll have fond memories of how you first taught them to enjoy garden greens.