- Different Types: Romaine, Crisphead, Butterhead, Leaf
- Romaine – Also known as Cos, this variety of head forming lettuce has deep green, long leaves with a crisp texture and deep taste.
- Crisphead – With green leaves on the outside and whitish ones on the inside, this variety of head lettuce has a crisp texture and a watery, mild taste. The best known variety of crisphead lettuce is iceberg.
- Butterhead – These types of lettuce feature tender large leaves that form a loosely arranged head that is easily separated from the stem, a sweet flavor and a soft texture. The best known varieties of Butterhead lettuce include Boston and Bibb.
- Leaf – Featuring broad, curly leaf varieties that are green and/or red, the leaf lettuces offer a delicate taste and a mildly crispy texture. Best known varieties of leaf lettuce include green leaf and red leaf.
- Very high in Vitamin K and Vitamin A
- Also a good source of folate and vitamin C
- Prevents the oxidation of cholesterol (therefore prevents arterial plaque from forming)
- Good source of potassium, which has been shown in numerous studies to be useful in lowering high blood pressure
How to Select and Store
- All lettuces should feature crisp looking, unwilted leaves that are free of dark or slimy spots
- Leaves’ edges should be free of brown or yellow discoloration.
- Romaine and Boston should have compact heads and stem ends that are not too brown
- Lettuces should be either stored in a plastic bag or wrapped in a damp cloth and stored in the refrigerator crisper
- Romaine lettuce will keep for five to seven days, Boston and leaf lettuce for two to three days, while fragile greens such as arugula and watercress ideally should be prepared the day of purchase
How to Prepare
- To clean lettuce, first remove the outer leaves and with one slice cut off the tips of the lettuce since they tend to be bitter
- Chop the remaining lettuce to the desired size and discard the bottom root portion
- Rinse and pat dry or use a salad spinner if you have one available to remove the excess water
Content courtesy of whfoods.org