Lettuce and tomato salad
Lettuce and tomato salad
For me, a “simple” salad lettuce and tomato is one of the most difficult dishes to get (not to prepare), as well as making good fried eggs, or grilled meat. I recently saw how some Basques, in a Castilian grill, returned one of those mixed salads, which I deeply hate, under the pretext that to accompany the lamb, they only needed a little crisp green, some tomato slices (better without skin ) and a dressing of oil from the good Andalusian of the land and a vinegar from Jerez. It made me want to get up and praise their taste: in three sentences they had found the philosopher’s stone of the lettuce and tomato salad. I would perhaps add that both the lettuce and the tomato must be very fresh and very dry, and no water can be found swimming in the bottom of the salad bowl, or two fingers of oil, and the chuchurrías leaves have been dressed for hours. The truth is that I learned how to make good salads on Delia Smith’s television programs, where I gave some advice that I usually follow to the letter:
1. The first thing to make a good salad is to choose the lettuce; I like the so-called trocadero (“French” or “Galician”); and to almost the same degree, Batavia lettuce. These varieties are not easy to find in Andalusia, so I have to settle for Roman. The buds also make good salads but personally I prefer them alone.
I like any tomato that is from the land, even if they don’t look so good; In confidence I will tell you that after the summer no tomato tastes like anything. The ones below bought them this August in the Santiago market, the smell and taste were from another world, for a price that I don’t even mention:
1. Delia did not put the lettuce in water, she simply washed it and then spun it. I, in this sense, because I prefer to prevent, so I put it in cold water for a while (even with a few drops of vinegar) and then centrifuge it. Decades ago I bought a centrifuge, with the idea that it was just another pot that would not come out of the box. In my case, it was the opposite: since I bought it I have not stopped using it for a single day. I remember that when I was not as popular as today, a friend came to eat one day, and when she saw me spinning the lettuce, she was amazed and it seemed like a great idea, because she was also a great cook. In the end, he asked me “how long does it take you in the whole process”. “About 10 minutes”, was my reply. “Impossible, I can’t put 10 minutes into the whirlwind of preparing food when I come to a hundred, and on top of that my husband, who is waiting reading the newspaper, will seem like a century.” Whenever I hear those comments that seem inconsequential, I remember that comment from a professor who, on the first day of the course, told us: “And the young ladies who do not serve this purpose, dedicate themselves to the tasks of their sex” (which are, without a doubt, make a salad (sorry for this digression).
2. Once it is well centrifugal and dry, you must chop it with your hands, or with a special plastic knife, so that the parts that the steel knife brushes do not rust. Tomatoes after washing, you can cut or peel and cut. It seems to me that without skin they earn a lot, but again it will depend on your circumstances.
3. The dressing must be done separately and emulsified before pouring it on. I put three parts of oil for one part of vinegar. For years, I have used modena vinegar but returned to sherry. It is a good idea to have a glass bottle and make the dressing to beat well with the lid on.
4. If possible, you should stir the salad at the table and at the last moment.