My dear friend Elliot you may remember him from my Ready Set Blog post has recently requested a post about lettuce. He wanted to know which lettuce's were good? There are no good or bad lettuce's just lettuce's that are better suited for certain things. For example if you want to make a grilled salad - literally cut your lettuce in to two brushing it with olive oil s&p and throwing right on to a flaming grill your best bet is to use romain, raddiccio or treviso, endive (both Belgian and frisee), or kale. These types of lettuce have tougher leaves that can stand up to the heat without wilting too quickly. You would never try to put baby greens, arugula, watercress or spinach on the bbq. These are better suited for fresh salads because of their fragility. Their leaves are so delicate you have to dress them right before serving as they get soggy very quickly. You can wilt some of these by simple placing something hot on top of them, or a quick toss in heat, but be very careful and quick.
Then you have your loose leaf lettuces including butter and boston/bibb and iceberg that are constantly praised for their perfect plumpness best suited for sandwiches and wedge salads. The size and thick/thinness of the leaves helps to decide what type of dressings would work best. Sturdier leaves call for a heavier creamy dressing while the more delicate are better dressed in light vinaigrettes. You also have your super sturdy crunchy types of lettuce like cabbage, kale and collards. These are perfect shredded in soups or braised in liquid. They also stand up well to overnight marinating in dressing and can stand up for a few days without ever loosing their hearty crunch. Well there you have it! An easy guide to lots of different types of lettuce. Chow for now!