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Ever heard of hot lettuce or wilted lettuce? Seriously, it’s awesome! This simple wilted lettuce recipe and our homemade dressing makes for a quick, healthy, and simply GOOD addition to your favorite meal.
Several years ago, a friend from church sent my husband home with two bags of fresh garden lettuce and a recipe called “Wilted Lettuce Salad (so simple, so good).” We didn’t realize until later that night what a gift this was!
How to Make Wilted Lettuce
This is one of THE simplest salad recipes around. And you likely have all the dressing ingredients in your pantry.
1. Rinse and dry your lettuce.
Our lettuce-grower friend’s instructions, which I’ve heard numerous times on Food Network, said to rinse the greens under cold water and then dry them in a salad spinner. This method makes for a crisp, rather than wet and limp, salad.
2. Tear Lettuce
Then, either cut up or tear up the lettuce, if needed. A chef will probably tell you to tear it by hand to avoid bruising. Baby lettuce may not need any tearing up at all, but the idea is to make the lettuce bite-sized.
3. Make the Dressing
Next, you’ll mix up a simple dressing that only requires four ingredients: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Kosher salt, and sugar. Or, if you’re someone who saves bacon drippings, I’m telling you right now–this is the time to use it! Swap out the olive oil for the bacon drippings. Place the dressing ingredients in a glass mason jar or glass dressing container. Microwave until it’s boiling (maybe 30 seconds).
4. Toss Lettuce with the Dressing
Dump the hot dressing on the greens and toss. Taste and season with salt and pepper, as needed.
Is Hot Lettuce Any Good?
“Hot lettuce?” you cry! Friends, I’m here to tell you that this is a thing and this is a very good thing. The hot lettuce wilts down a little and absorbs all the flavor of the hot dressing. The resulting sweetness and tanginess of the salad makes it go down like a spoonful of sugar. 🙂
If you want to get a little fancier, add some freshly grated Parmesan and/or some feta or blue cheese crumbles, thinly sliced or diced apples, and toasted pecans to take this wilted lettuce salad over the top. Doesn’t that sound amazing??
More Salads Recipes
If you like this one, you’ll love these other salad recipes from our site…
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- About 4–6 cups of lettuce (tender, fresh garden lettuce is the best!)
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (or bacon drippings)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
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- Rinse and dry the salad in a salad spinner. (Or rinse in a colander and let dry on a towel on the counter.) Tear into bite-sized pieces into a large serving bowl.
- Combine oil, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a microwave-safe glass jar or bowl.
- Microwave for about 30 seconds, or until boiling.
- Immediately pour hot dressing over the large bowl of salad. Toss and taste. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired.
- Serving suggestion ideas: Add freshly grated Parmesan, feta or Gorgonzola crumbles, thinly sliced or diced apples, and toasted pecans.