Recipes @ Selecting Lettuce for Salads

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Selecting Lettuce for Salads

Did you know that the milky sap in lettuce has a soothing, calming effect on the body? This could explain the reason behind the European custom of ending the evening meal with a salad.

Salads are more than just appetizers; they provide alternative solutions for lunch or dinner on the go. Most of us are probably familiar with the Iceberg variety of lettuce in the supermarket, but I find its flavor to be very bland tasting. With so many varieties of lettuce available at the green grocers and farmers markets, there's really no reason not to try a different lettuce in your next salad. If you plan to make a salad, it's important to select varieties of lettuces and greens for color and for sharp and sweet tastes.

Consider smooth-textured Bibb, light-green Boston lettuce, crunchy romaine, and red and green looseleaf lettuce. These types mix nicely with specialty greens, such as tangy arugula, bitter red radicchio, peppery watercress and crispy endive. And here's a good idea for making sure your salad stays cool on the salad plate. Icy-cool plates bring the crisp chill of the refrigerator to the table. Just place stacked salad plates in the refrigerator for at least an hour. When you're ready to serve the salad, remove the icy-cool plates from the refrigerator and place the salad on the plates. Don't use the freezer, however, for this technique, since ceramics will crack if exposed to the cold of the freezer.

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