Today I will try my hand at making an old-fashioned side dish my grandmother used to prepare called scalded lettuce. This simple recipe consists primarily of lettuce, onions, and grease.
I am not sure where this recipe originated but I do know it was/is popular in the Appalachian Mountain areas. No doubt because it is very tasty and inexpensive to make. It also has many names and slight variations. We always referred to it as scalded lettuce, but it's also known as killed (kilt) lettuce, and/or wilted lettuce.
Good times and good cooking
"Watch out now, here I come with the grease"
Scalded lettuce brings back many fond memories I shared with my family in the kitchen. We make this quite often and I'd say almost 100% of the time, we made it on days we cooked soup beans and cornbread. Maybe it's just me, but for the full scalded lettuce experience, you will need some beans and cornbread to go with it. It will taste so much better that way. So, save this thought for the next time you make beans, or just go all in. My soup bean recipe can be found here https://www.farmshedblog.com/post/beans~n~cornbread
This recipe is very close to my grandmother's. Though she didn't add actual bacon to hers. I believe it's because she always saved bacon grease so she didn't need to cook more bacon to render the fat. It's a more cost-effective method. The flavor is still there but you can save your bacon for breakfast. I save my grease too but I believe I like it better with the added bacon. Bacon makes everything better, probably.
2 Tbs of bacon grease
5 Strips of bacon
2 Tbs of white (or apple cider) vinegar
1 Tbs of sugar
3-4 fresh green onions - washed and trimmed
8 Cups of lettuce - the equivalent of 1 medium-sized head
Salt & Pepper to taste
My outcome of this recipe today may look a little different because I am making mine with some leftover bag salad that I wanted to put to use. I don't like to waste food and since I have some soup beans, cornbread, and potatoes...well, it just makes sense to have some scalded lettuce to go with it. This is the full recipe but since I'm not using as much lettuce, I have adjusted my measurements accordingly.
Let's get to it
Cook the bacon in a skillet and set it aside on a paper towel.
While the bacon is cooking, wash and core the lettuce, don't shred it. Break apart the leaves into a bowl or good-sized dish. Wash the onions and trip off the tips and the roots. Add the onions to the lettuce.
Return to the skillet, after you have removed the bacon, save 2 Tbs and discard the rest.
Add the vinegar, and sugar to the skillet. Stir it consistently until it comes to a boil. Promptly remove it from the heat and drizzle it over the lettuce.
Toss the lettuce to coat it with the mixture. Now, crumble the bacon over it and add salt and pepper to taste. All you need now are some soup beans and taters.
Ah, you can't beat that with a stick. It's very good! Country cooking at its best. Give this recipe a try sometime. It's cheap and easy to put together and would also make a great side item to take on an occasion when you need to bring a dish.
Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.