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31.7.12

LETTUCE IN BRINE - ECETES SALÁTA


In the spring and early summer, this is what graced our Sunday dinners and if we were lucky, we would get it during the week with paprikás krumpli or tojásos nokedli. I never saw mixed salads, until I came to Canada. We always had our lettuce this way, although I have seen plain lettuce served in a restaurant once, I remember asking my aunt, Ez meg mi? She said it was natúr saláta.

Always use butter lettuce, no other lettuce can give you the same wonderful flavour. Remember, brining is a minimalist treatment, other types of lettuce would be either too bland or could overpower this light sweet and sour brine. As for the brine, how sweet or sour it should be is entirely personal.

1 round head of butter lettuce
2 cups water
1/4 tsp salt
sugar to taste
white vinegar to taste

• Fill a glass salad bowl half way with cold water.
• Add the salt and the sugar.
• Stir to dissolve the sugar.
• Add some white vinegar to make a pleasantly sweet and sour brine. Keep tasting it and adding more sugar or vinegar as needed. Now this is important, rinse the spoon after each tasting.
• Take off the outer leaves. Cut the yellow inner leaves into four parts.
• Wash the lettuce very well and shake off the water.
• Place in the brine and let it sit on the counter for twenty minutes.
• Serve the brined letucce in individual bowls and top it off with some of the brine.

10 comments:

  1. What an incredible way to prepare lettuce! I will certainly try it. I am really intrigued. Aren't the leaves wilted? (They don't look wilted on the photo).

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  2. This type of 'salad' allows you to appreciate the ingredients at a very basic level. I adore the buttery texture and flavour of the Boston Bibb (or butter lettuce).
    Have you ever tried grilling an iceberg lettuce? It adds a wonderful depth of smoky flavour to such a lifeless ingredient.

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  3. It would Sissi in a few hours, I time it to soak up the brine but not so long as to let the leaves wilt. Whatever is left from the meal I do not keep.

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  4. Eva, indeed, salata is a minimalist approach and frankly I find it more satisfying than a loaded mixed salad. The butter letucce is expensive and I don't make it often enough. The weird weather we are having made our butter letucce a little funny looking, there is not much of a yellow center and the green leaves are very dark this year. I think I will replace the photo when I buy one in the store, but not just yet, not with all those bibs waiting in my garden.

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  5. I have never grilled iceberg. I don't grill. I am a bit asthmatic. I find even the smell of smoke is an irritant. But I have seen lettuce used in all sorts of recipes.

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  6. This is one of my favourites! It also brings back the memory of the book I learned to read from. It had the poem:
    Salata Sara
    Elment a Vasarba
    Idres Bodros
    Fidres Fodros
    Zold Seyem Szoknyaba.

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  7. That's really cute. Thanks! :-)

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  8. My first book I ever read was Disznok az Esoben - How I loved I could read it. Can I use your poem in my book? I really like it.

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  9. Well, it's not my poem. It really was in the first book I read. I don't recall the title any more, but for some reason your recipe reminded me of it. Perhaps it's the approach of second childhood?

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  10. hahaha second childhood. Well I am getting there. How's this? virageknal eg a vilag sutik mar a rantott bekat zimme zum zimme zum recefice bum bum bum

    ReplyDelete

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I began to post recipes for my family and it turned out to be a work in progress. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has over 900 recipes of Hungarian and international recipes. My recipes are organized into a cookbook format. On top of the page click on the cookbook to get access to all my recipes. If I ever figure out how to add a printer friendly gadget I will add it. In the meantime feel free to cut and paste. Happy cooking!

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