Monday, June 25, 2012

Iceberg claims a Stake

With all the grills in America seemingly primed for the upcoming week of July 4th, a true celebration is certainly center of plate!  Freedom Rocks. Freedom is King.  Freedom is something never to take for granted.  I worked for The United States Government for 10 years with a team that traveled to many countries explaining the foods we had available for export. It is a demanding job. It was exciting to bridge the gap of language and culture with food. Meeting people around the globe on their own soil, from Asia to Africa, South America to India and the Middle East brought to mind how ' food brings people together '.  This was the theme I used in addressing the Fourth of July, United States Embassy party in Osaka Japan.  Our team prepared regional dishes for over 600 people visiting from twenty countries.

This year, my idea of seeing Heads of State has turned for a moment on this day to tasting Heads of Lettuce!  My smokey tasty celebration involves none other than Iceberg and some smokey salt!  It will be my center of plate.  Wildly popular decades ago iceberg has a solid place in the wide and colorful field of garden greens. Crunchy, crispy, full of pairing opportunities aside bbq, meat, poultry, fish, vegetables or just on its own with a delicious umami dressing, Head Lettuce takes its own center Stake for this Day.  

Happy upcoming Fourth of July.  And thank you, American Armed Services, a part in my family included, who continue to keep us free.  Respect Freedom.  It's not free. Happy Birthday, America.
The Vegetable Alchemist.

Iceberg dressed with Smoke Sea Salt
1    Head Iceberg lettuce, cut into four wedges
1    teas  + 1/2 teas smoked sea salt
1    tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1    clove of garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1    lemon, cut into 4 wedges (optional)

Using a fork or whisk rapidly stir the white balsamic vinegar into the olive oil.  Add the garlic and one teas smoked sea salt.  Mix thoroughly. Stir in the parsley leaves.Crack in black pepper to taste and serve over wedges of cold, crisp iceberg sprinkling evenly with the remaining 1/2 teas of smoked sea salt.  A wedge of lemon is a great garnish, especially if you are serving the Wedge with a protein.