I have a new table-side salad routine this summer.
First, I bring a big mixing bowl of cold water outside to the deck. Somebody goes into the vegetable garden and picks enough lettuce and herb leaves for a salad, and they get placed in the bowl of water.
Next I swish the leaves around so the dirt and grit rinse off, falling to the bottom of the bowl. I leave it to settle as we set the table and check the grill.
Then, back to the bowl, I lift out the lettuce without stirring up the dirt, and lay the leaves on a large clean cotton dish towel. I lay another cloth over top of the damp leaves and roll the towels with the greens sandwiched inside, to absorb all the water.
(All the bits of dirt and grass haven fallen to the bottom of the bowl; I pour that back into the garden or nearby flower pot.)
Lastly, after eating dinner – or lunch – I unwrap the lettuce (table-side!) and tear it into a waiting salad bowl I prepared earlier, with sliced cucumber, or fruits, and so on. I’ll already have drizzled those pieces with olive oil, and generously salted everything.
I quickly combine everything and ta-da: Table-side salad.