We have a new table-side salad routine this summer.
I bring a big mixing bowl of cold water out to the table on the deck. Somebody goes into the vegetable garden and picks lettuce, which gets 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. We leave it to settle as we set the table and check the grill.
Then, back to the bowl to lift out the lettuce without stirring up the dirt, and lay the lettuce on a large clean cotton dish towel. I lay another over top of the damp leaves and fold the towels, kind of rolling up the bundle to absorb all the water until we’re ready to eat salad.
(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 the waiting salad bowl (which is holding the sliced cucumber, fruits, seeds, etc.; It’s already drizzled with olive oil and vinegar and is generously salted).
I combine everything and ta-da: Table-side salad.