If there’s one thing that’s a certainty in San Francisco, it is that weeds grow all over your backyard. This forced me to do some gardening and upon pulling out a shit ton of weeds, I stumbled across a patch of Miner’s Lettuce! To me, this was like finding free money. I’d frequently go to the farmer’s market to get this stuff, and now it’s growing in my backyard! I’m stoked. So the goal was to do a really simple salad with all the lettuce I found. Thank the skies for all the rain this season because the lettuce is abundant in my yard! And to think I almost weed wacked the shit out of them.
With a spinach like flavor and a crispier texture, I thought a fresh salad with pine nuts would go a long way with this. When pine nuts are toasted, they bring out a very meaty flavor to them. I’d always include pine nuts in my pestos, so this worked out perfect with Miner’s Lettuce.
My usual salads include thinly sliced or shaved carrots and red onions. I also included some sliced Persian cucumbers for a little more freshness. I always keep dressing simple by using a 1:2 ratio of Lemon juice (Acid) to Olive Oil (Fat). Crushing a tiny clove of garlic in the dressing is also great for giving the dressing a little more punch.
So, the next time you’re walking around the city, check to the grounds and look around for this lettuce. I shit you not, it’s everywhere right now! Is it better than finding gold? Maybe not, but then again…when the hell have you ever found gold?
Miner's Lettuce Backyard Salad
A solid change up from just using mixed greens, Miner's Lettuce offers a spinach like flavor with a crisp texture.
- 1 squeezed lemon
- 2 oz. basil olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/8 tsp salt
- cracked pepper
- Miner’s Lettuce
- 1 Carrot
- 1 Persian cucumber
- 1/4 red onion
- 1 tbsp toasted pine nuts
- 1 tsp nutritional yeast
- Rinse lettuce under cold water and pluck off stems.
- Thinly shave carrots with peeler and thinly slice red onions and cucumbers.
- For the dressing, mix 1 part lemon juice to 2 parts oil and whisk till emulsified. Sprinkle salt and pepper and drop a smashed garlic in. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Heat a small saucepan on low and toast pine nuts being careful not to burn them.
- Toss salad with dressing and all ingredients. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast.
- Plate and serve!