by Allison Milam in In Season, October 17th, 2012
by Alex Guarnaschelli in Food Network Chef, How-to, August 16th, 2011
Now that we’re really pushing into fall, lettuce probably isn’t necessarily the most on-your-radar type of seasonal produce. Fall is the time for cozying up to butternut squash soup and just-out-of-the-oven pumpkin bread, is it not? Well, believe it or not, it turns out this is the time to get your lettuce fix since the leafy green is in season.
According to HGTV Gardens, lettuce is one of the best-dressed vegetables at the market. Varieties come in a cornucopia of shades: green, red, purple, yellow, as well as variegated and mottled combinations.
Just because lettuce is on the must-eat list doesn’t mean we’re talking ice-cold salads. Nope, this week we’re all about one thing: lettuce wraps. In this rendering, lettuce is foundational. It packs the same hand-held functionality as a taco, and works as a stellar party appetizer or light lunch.
There are many ways to make your lettuce wraps, whether you’re going the veggie or the meaty route. Here’s just a taste.
Get more mixed lettuce recipes from family and friends
Every week, Alex Guarnaschelli, host of Alex’s Day Off, shares with readers what she’s eating — whether it’s from the farmers’ market or fresh off the boat, she’ll have you craving everything from comfort food to seasonal produce.
Choose lettuces that are bright green and firm — saggy, browning leaves are the hallmark of vegetables on their way to the compost pile. If the outer leaves of a head of lettuce are ragged, peel away a layer or two to see if the heart is worth saving. To make lettuce last longer, keep it dry and cool in a dark place. It’s important not to wash or mix lettuce with anything acidic (lemon or vinegar) until right before eating.
Iceberg: I really love iceberg lettuce. I love a good wedge with blue cheese; it makes me feel American. I also love chopping iceberg and mixing it with scallions, fresh chiles or a really vibrant dressing. It has a great, juicy texture and, on its own, is pretty bland. To me, it’s nice to have a lettuce that can meld with bold flavors.
Watercress, mustard greens and frisee »