When lettuce is overdressed
Q: We have tons of baby lettuces and other lovely little greens. Is there a trick to dressing these flavorfully but lightly, so they don’t wilt and drown under the weight of the dressing?
A: A few things come to mind. First, use a light vinaigrette, not a heavy Caesar-type dressing, and dress them right before serving. Second, season with a little salt and pepper before you dress them. This keeps you from feeling like you need to heavily dress to get flavour in there. Third, use your hands — your “impeccably clean hands,” as Julia Child would say — to toss the greens with the dressing. Nothing works better to keep from crushing them and to fully coat them. One last idea: dress with simple vinegar and oil, applied separately. Do the vinegar first. Believe it or not, it’s oil that will wilt lettuce, not vinegar.