While I love eating home grown lettuce, washing it can be time consuming. Rain splashes mud and grit onto lettuce leaves, so I have to wash it thoroughly. The best way is to soak the lettuce for a few minutes in enough water to cover sprinkled with a little salt. The dirt will fall to the bottom. I lift out and inspect each lettuce leaf before placing it in a salad spinner basket. I check every leaf for bugs. I dip leaves in water to rinse off critters, if needed. I tear off chewed or dark areas and pinch off tough stems.
Then I am finally ready to spin the lettuce as dry as I can. That way the salad dressing sticks to the leaves giving more flavor. Our leaves were small and tender enough that I don't need to tear the leaves. Following is a recipe for mixed green salad. You can substitute homegrown lettuce for the iceberg and Romaine. Notice that the directions for washing iceberg and Romaine is different from homegrown and from each other. Enjoy!
Mixed Green Salad
1 head iceberg lettuce
1 head Romaine lettuce
1 red onion
1 bottle favorite salad dressing
If possible, wash iceberg lettuce earlier in the day to let water drain. Cut out core or rap core on counter hard enough to break it loose. Discard core. Turn lettuce head upside down and run under cold water, allowing the water to push apart leaves and flow into the lettuce head. Turn core upside down and place in a colander to drain. Tear into pieces and place in a salad bowl.
Using a large serrated knife, cut Romaine lettuce into approximately 1-inch widths on a cutting board. Place lettuce in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Use your hand to stir the lettuce so dirt and sand can fall to the bottom. Gather the lettuce, carrying it up out of the water and into a salad spinner basket. Rotate to dry (or pat dry with towels). Add to salad bowl.
Pare, rinse, and trim ends of carrots; grate. Pare, rinse, and slice cucumber. Use a paring knife to trim ends of onion; peel skin. Use a chef’s knife to slice thinly in rings, discarding root end. Trim ends and core of tomatoes. Cut into wedges. Add all to salad bowl. Toss with salad dressing and spoon into salad bowls. Top with croutons and sunflower kernels. Yield: 8 servings