Tuesday, 19 August 2014


This lunchtime I thought, 'I really fancy a healthy salad', and went salad-hunting. Given that I work in a predominantly office area (i.e. Westminster) you'd think that would be relatively easy. But it's not, at least not for a vegetarian. There are lots of chicken salads and tuna salads and sushi salads but a boring old no-dead-thing salad? O no. Then I found one that looked like it was full of carrots and felafel and chick peas and other healthy stuff, so I bought it. When I got back to the office I found it looked nice on the top - on top of a thick bed of lettuce leaves.

I've been a vegetarian for almost 40 years and I've lost count of the acres of lettuce I've eaten over those years. Lettuce has always been used to 'bulk' up salads, provide the base and sprinkle a few other veggies, fruit and pulses on top and that's your basic salad. Well, I'm fed up with all the lettuce. It's a cheap way to provide a bigger meal but I'm bored with it. I want more tomato, more cucumber, more peppers, more onion, more everything - and less lettuce. Ideally, no lettuce.

Imagine my joy at discovering a real Greek salad in Greece (Athens to be precise) a few years ago with no lettuce at all? Those intelligent Greeks had obviously realised that lettuce is boring millennia ago and banned it. How sensible. How wonderful.

Sadly, London Greek salads all too often still include a base of lettuce - except at The Real Greek, and I urge you to sample a Real Greek salad. I do every time I go there. Yum!

I disapprove of fields of lettuce - let the rabbits in, I say. I disapprove of whoever first decided to cultivate lettuce many millennia ago when we discovered farming and gave up hunter-gathering. I disapprove of the man (probably a man and probably Victorian) who first put lettuce into a salad.

If you like lettuce, then good on ya (and I don't understand that) but I'm with the Greeks on this one. 

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