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Classic Wilted Lettuce Salad

When we were kids, my sister and I would prepare the freshly picked lettuce for this wilted lettuce salad recipe, rinsing it several times and carefully drying it. As we did so, we quibbled about the portions we'd each have. Somehow, it seems she always managed to get more! We still can't get enough of this salad. —Doris Natvig, Jesup, Iowa
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 15 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 bacon strips, cut up
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 green onions with tops, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 to 10 cups torn leaf lettuce
  • 1 hard-boiled large egg, chopped

Directions

  • In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels to drain.
  • To the hot drippings, add the vinegar, water, onions, sugar, salt and pepper, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
  • Place lettuce in a salad bowl; immediately pour dressing over and toss lightly. Top with egg. Serve immediately.

Wilted Lettuce Salad Tips

What does wilted lettuce mean?

When it comes to salad, wilted lettuce refers to a recipe that uses dressing made with hot bacon drippings. The warm dressing relaxes the lettuce, creating a comforting dish that’s reminiscent of Authentic German Potato Salad. (You can even add potatoes to your wilted lettuce salad to get more of that effect.)

How do I make vegetarian wilted lettuce salad?

To make a vegetarian wilted lettuce salad, skip the bacon and make a warm vinaigrette using olive or vegetable oil. Add the vinegar, onions, sugar, salt and pepper to the oil, and heat it at a medium temperature until the sugar dissolves. To get a smoky flavor, add some liquid smoke.

What else can I add to wilted lettuce salad?

In addition to potatoes, consider adding radishes, tomatoes or leeks—whatever you have on hand. You can also experiment with different types of salad greens, such as spinach, endive or arugula. Some people prefer this salad with a creamy dressing, like the one in this Old-Fashioned Wilted Lettuce recipe, which uses milk. Research contributed by Teddy Nykiel, Taste of Home Associate Editor
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 118 calories, 10g fat (4g saturated fat), 45mg cholesterol, 227mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 2g fiber), 3g protein.

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Reviews

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Average Rating:
  • gunslinger
    Jun 4, 2020

    Delicious! I used lettuce and green onions from my garden. The dressing is delicious!

  • Appy_Girl
    May 19, 2020

    This salad offers such a nice clean taste. It’s such a wonderful change of pace from heavy mayo based dressings. The combo of sweet and sour is perfect. And the bacon adds a nice smoky taste to the salad as well. I’d highly suggest giving this delicate salad a try. VFE

  • 480man
    Jul 17, 2015

    Grew up eating very similar but you forgot to throw in some slice and fried new potatoes.

  • NavyJ
    Feb 12, 2015

    Very easy & delicious recipe! I added an additional hard boiled egg as we like them.

  • lizabeeh
    Oct 13, 2014

    And what are we supposed to do with the bacon? Logically, I can figure it out, but you didn't include it in your instructions.

  • rebleboy
    Oct 2, 2014

    Very good for a summer or hot day. Last a while ,for one person. My grandmother has made this for me when I was a kid.