Monthly Archives: July 2012

Appalachian Favorites- Lettuce and onions (or kilt salad)

It’s been a few weeks since I posted, sorry. Life and all. Anyway, it’s the middle of the summer, at least here in the south. And when it’s summer it’s time for salads. When I was growing up we had a garden every year. Each person had something they were looking forward to during the growing cycle. For me it was the cucumbers. I’d go out to the garden and pluck a cucumber from the vine, wash it or rub it down to get the dirt off (I was a kid, so sue me) and then eat it, warm and fresh from the garden. My sister did the same with the tomatoes.

We planted leaf lettuce each spring and had it until the hottest part of the summer. Several times a week my mother would send my sister and I out to the garden for lettuce and onions. We’d pinch the fresh lettuce leaves off and gather the green onions. Then my mother would make a fresh salad with these two ingredients. But what made the salad special was the dressing. It was hot bacon grease.

Now don’t cringe. It wasn’t a lot. My mom would cook a couple slices¬†of bacon, then remove them. Then she’d pour the grease over the lettuce and onions, “killing” them or wilting the lettuce. It was just oily enough, not too greasy. And the bacon and salty flavor made the salad wonderful. Usually we ate it with either pinto bean soup and corn bread or with green beans.¬† Nowadays, we use oil when we make this salad. It’s healthier but not nearly as tasty.

Here is the recipe, such as it is.

Lettuce and onion salad

Loose leaf lettuce (about 1/2 lb.), washed and drained

3 green onions, chopped

2 slices bacon

Fry bacon to crisp. Remove bacon from pan. In glass or heavy plastic bowl, mix lettuce and onions. Pour bacon grease over lettuce, making sure to evenly distribute it over the salad. Serve immediately.