Friday, July 06, 2012

Fresh Romaine Lettuce From the Garden

One of the best things about summertime, is fresh, juicy, local produce!  I can never get enough of it.  I always eat so many tomatoes in the summer that my mouth hurts!  

I was an incredibly fortunate child, who grew up on a farm with multiple, huge vegetable and fruit gardens.  I was spoiled, to say the least, and pretty much fed only what was in season and in our garden.  Today, I try my very best to replicate that experience for my own little girls, but it's no where near the life I lived when I was on the farm.  We are lucky, though, to have many great local markets in our area that sell fresh, local produce that taste just about as delicious as the food grown and picked from your own garden!

We have been enjoying our delicious romaine lettuce for several weeks now.  Freshly picked romaine lettuce makes the most perfect homemade Caesar salad in the world!  This is the best time to be making weekly Caesar salads with the recipe I posted a few months ago. 

If you have your own romaine lettuce growing in your garden, you can either chop the entire head off, like I did below, or pick away the outside leaves of several heads.  Your plants will continue to produce more leaves this way, but be sure to pick and eat them regularly, before the plant bolts.  Once this starts to happen, the leaves develop a bitter taste.  In my opinion, that lettuce is ready for the compost (or your pet bunny, if you're lucky enough to have one)!

 
 

Now that you've picked your nice fresh lettuce, head into the house, fill the nicely cleaned kitchen sink (or a bowl) with cold water and let the leaves sit a little bit to crispen up from the heat and to give them a real good clean.  After a good clean and spin in your trusty salad spinner (my favourite is by OXO Good Grips), store your clean lettuce in the fridge while you prepare your Caesar Salad.  

Now pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy!!!  

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