I is for Iceberg Lettuce

Umm. The much maligned iceberg lettuce is not very nutritious you say. I completely agree. If iceberg lettuce is your primary vegetable, you need to explore the colorful world of greens. But we will save that for another post.

Since iceberg lettuce is naturally gluten free, how many times has it been suggested as a substitute for a bun? I see many eyes rolling. A greasy burger between two slippery iceberg leaves is just not the same.

The best use of iceberg lettuce is a decorative vessel for salads. In the 60’s when my mom wanted to serve something fancy to bridge club, she served squares of fruited Jell-O. They were usually red, with fruit cocktail, made in a 9×13 pan. The squares were placed on a leaf of iceberg lettuce, and then topped with a dollop of mayo. Mom still loves that, I still think it is awful.

Or, the also retro, salad of a wedge of iceberg lettuce with Thousand Island Dressing comes to mind. This is still offered at some steak houses. It is tasty with a juicy steak and a baked potato. And easy enough for the restaurant to make gluten free. Here is a recipe to make your own dressing and treat yourself at home.



photo by vsimon

Thousand Island Dressing

Adapted from my marked up 1973 edition of Joy of Cooking.                           This version is chunkier.

1 cup mayonnaise (Hellmann’s and Best foods brands are gluten free)

¼ cup catsup (Heinz brand is gluten free)

¼ cup minced stuffed green olives

¼ cup chopped parsley

2 tablespoons chopped green pepper

2 tablespoons chopped chives

2 diced hard cooked eggs

Mix it up. Serve over wedges of iceberg lettuce or hard cooked eggs. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Note: products change from time to time. Always read the label to determine if it is still gluten free. At the time of this posting, Hellmann’s, Best Foods, and Heinz websites have helpful gluten free listings.