A classic recipe handed down to me by my Grandma Mary from Arkansas, you’ll love this Wilted Lettuce Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing. Don’t let the hot dressing scare you – you will not believe how easy it actually is!
My Classic Wilted Lettuce Recipe is a family favorite
One dish I remember eating over and over when I was growing up is Wilted Lettuce Salad. My mom used to make it all the time – I think because it’s a great way to use up the plethora of leaf lettuce we had in the garden when I was growing up.
My mom got the recipe from her mom, my Grandma Moore from Arkansas. I asked my mom about the history of the salad and she just laughed and said it’s an Arkansas thing. It’s the only way they eat leaf lettuce down there, she said.
So, while I enjoy eating this salad because it’s so nostalgic for me, it’s also just darn good. Just the right mix of healthy and not. Sweet and tangy. Crunchy and salty. I love this salad because it has all the right flavor combinations, in my opinion. It’s also easy. If you’d like to make it too, here’s how.
How to Make a Wilted Lettuce Salad
Making this wilted lettuce salad dressing is so easy. It’s basically lettuce and green onions with bacon! I cut up bacon first and then cook it in a cast iron skillet. The little pieces of bacon cook so quickly and then they’re ready to put directly on the salad. Since we also use the bacon drippings in the salad, there’s no need to worry about getting the bacon grease off them!
Prepare the salad washing well in a salad spinner and then shredding a head of leaf lettuce, or romaine lettuce works very well also. If you have an abundance of spinach in the garden, feel free to shred some of it too, but that is my addition, not the typical wilted lettuce.Thinly slice 2-3 green onions, and add them to the bowl. I go ahead and salt and pepper my salad as well. Then I’m ready for the hot dressing.
The hot dressing in a wilted lettuce salad is just bacon drippings and apple cider vinegar. You’ll want to heat the bacon grease to just smoking and then pour it over the prepared salad. Next, pour the apple cider vinegar in the same pan you cooked the bacon in, heat it sizzling as well, then pour it over the salad.
Toss everything together in a large bowl – give it a quick taste test – add a bit more vinegar or salt if you want, and you’re done!
A note about the bacon and bacon grease. The recipe calls for 4 tablespoons of bacon grease, but I really just eyeball it. I have found that cooking 4 ounces of bacon yields about 4 tablespoons of grease, but you might want to measure it out the first time you make this salad.
If you decide to measure the grease, I recommend taking out the crumbled bacon pieces, then measuring the grease, then heating the grease back up. After you have a feel for how much grease you get in the pan, you can skip this step and just pour the bacon and grease directly on the salad without measuring.
Wilted Lettuce Salad with Bacon Dressing
- One head lettuce, about 8-10 cups, washed and shredded
- 3-4 green onions with whites. Thinly sliced.
- 4 ounces bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 4 tablespoons hot bacon grease
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- fresh pepper
- Cut bacon into small pieces called lardon and cook well over medium high head
- Wash lettuce well and spin to dry. Then, cut it into strips, or simply tear it.
- Place it in a large bowl and add the sliced green onions.
- Crumble the bacon and add it to the salad.
- Pour the hot bacon grease over the salad. Put vinegar in the same pan to heat, and then pour it over the salad. Toss salad well.
Visualize that sizzling plate of fajitas you get at a Mexican restaurant and that's what making this salad is like. The hot dressing coats the lettuce and wilts it. The salad is served warm.
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Serving Size:1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 142Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 402mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 6g
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