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Lettuce storage tips and recipes

Romaine lettuce and leaf lettuce should be washed and dried before storing in the refrigerator to remove their excess moisture, while Boston lettuce (aka buttercrunch) need not be washed before storing. A salad spinner can be very helpful in the drying of lettuce (and other salad ingredients as well). These 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 ideally should be prepared the day of purchase. All types of lettuce should be stored away from ethylene-producing fruits, such as apples, bananas and pears, since they will cause the lettuce leaves to brown.

Tear or chop Romaine raw for salad, or try it grilled (medium heat, 2 min per side) with a balsamic vinaigrette marinade!

Greens & lettuce should be dried after washing, either by a salad spinner or gently with towels. This salad mix will remain freshest if stored in the crisper section of your refrigerator in a loosely tied plastic bag rolled in a dry paper towel to absorb excess moisture from washing. When preparing lettuce, be sure to tear the leaves instead of chopping them, as the knife can cause bruising to the delicate leaves.

Grilled Romaine with Blue Cheese-Bacon Vinaigrette

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 pound bacon, chopped
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 heads romaine lettuce, cut in 1/2 lengthwise
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the grill to high heat.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a saute pan over high heat. Add the onions and bacon and cook until the bacon is crispy. To the same pan add the balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.

Brush the romaine lettuce with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, place on the grill cut side down, and quickly sear.

Serve the lettuce, cut side up, and drizzle the balsamic dressing over the lettuce. Sprinkle with blue cheese and garnish with cracked black pepper.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/guy-fieri/grilled-romaine-with-blue-cheese-bacon-vinaigrette-recipe0.print.html?oc=linkback

Asian Lettuce Wraps

Recipe courtesy Sunny Anderson, 2009

Asian Lettuce Wraps
Total Time:
28 min
20 min
8 min
Yield:4 servings

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 pound ground beef
2 -inch piece ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 scallions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 head Boston lettuce, leaves separated, cleaned and dried

In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil and saute beef until brown. Stir in ginger, scallions, garlic, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and hoisin and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the peanuts. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm wrapped in lettuce cups.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sunny-anderson/asian-lettuce-wraps-recipe.print.html?oc=linkback

Sweet and Sour Lettuce Salad From Giora Shimoni, former About.com Guide
“My Hungarian father makes this special Sweet and Sour Lettuce Salad, and my pickle-loving daughter gobbles it up. It is gentler than sauerkraut, but also dresses up meat sandwiches or makes a flavorful side dish.”
Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 15 minutes

• 1 round head lettuce
• 1 cup water
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 4 Tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute
• 6 Tablespoons vinegar

1. Separate and wash lettuce leaves. Place in large bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, mix water, vinegar, sugar, and salt. The mixture can be adjusted a bit according to your taste.
3. Pour over lettuce. Use your hands to mix the lettuce well with the liquid.
4. Let sit for 20-30 minutes at room temperature. Refrigerate. NOTE: The salad tastes better after a day of sitting in the refrigerator. VARIATION: I've used a liquid sugar substitute instead of the sugar in this recipe, and it worked fine.

Romaine Mandarin Almond Salad Submitted By: BDEGER to Allrecipes.com
Prep Time: 20 Minutes Cook Time: 10 Minutes Ready In: 40 Minutes

1 head romaine lettuce - rinsed, dried and chopped
2 (11 ounce) cans mandarin oranges, drained
6 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
ground black pepper to taste

1. In a large bowl, combine the romaine lettuce, oranges and green onions.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons sugar with the almonds in saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir while sugar starts to melt and coat almonds. Stir constantly until almonds are light brown. Turn onto a plate, and cool for 10 minutes.
3. Combine red wine vinegar, olive oil, one tablespoon sugar, red pepper flakes and black pepper in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake vigorously until sugar is dissolved.
4. Before serving, toss lettuce with salad dressing until coated. Transfer to a decorative serving bowl, and sprinkle with sugared almonds.

Stir-Fried Pork with Noodles in Lettuce Cups
adapted from docjoe on grouprecipes.com

1 12 oz. cellophane noodles
1/4 cup oil
1/2 pound ground pork
3 scallions chopped, 1/2" pieces
1 Tbl. hot bean sauce (chili garlic sauce can also be used)
2 Tbl. soy sauce
1 Tbl. dry sherry
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup water
1 head buttercrunch lettuce

Soak noodles in warm water for 15 minutes. While noodles soak, chop the scallions and set aside and separate lettuce leaves for wraps. Remove noodles from the water, drain and chop into 3 " pieces. Heat oil in a pan and add the pork. Stir-fry the pork until lightly browned. Add the noodles, stir-fry for a few seconds, then add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil and then simmer until all liquid has evaporated.
Serve hot. Note: The pork is placed into a lettuce leaf and wrapped burrito style by each person dining.

Buttercrunch Lettuce with Vinaigrette

• 1 shallot, peeled and chopped
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 head buttercruch lettuce, cleaned
• 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
• 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese

Combine the shallot, mustard, vinegar, oil, and salt and pepper in a blender, pulse until the shallot is chopped and the vinaigrette is emulsified. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Break the lettuce leaves off the head, put them in a large bowl or on a platter, and dress them with the vinaigrette. Top with the toasted pine nuts and crumbled blue cheese.


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