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What Is Butter Lettuce?
Butter lettuce is a type of lettuce that includes Bibb lettuce and Boston lettuce. It's known for loose, round-shaped heads of tender, sweet leaves and a mild flavor. All varieties of butterhead lettuces have smooth, loosely-coiled leaves that are often sold with the roots still attached to preserve freshness.
What's the Difference Between Butter Lettuce and Romaine Lettuce?
Butter Lettuce has a softer, buttery texture compared to crisp, almost watery romaine lettuce. The shape of butter lettuce leaves are rounder and petal shaped, while romaine leaves are elongated.
9 Varieties of Butter Lettuce
Butter lettuce is typically divided into two types, green-leaf and red-leaf:
The nine green-leaf varieties of butter lettuce include:
- Boston bibb
- Tom Thumb
- Butter Babies
The seven red-leaf varieties of butter lettuce include:
- Flashy Butter Oak Leaf
- Blushed Butterhead
- Yugoslavian Red
- Four Seasons
How to Prep and Store Butter Lettuce
If lettuce comes with the root attached, store lettuce head in its original container or a plastic bag, leaving the roots in tact and moist. If it is without the root, wash and dry the loose leaves, wrap them in paper towels, seal in a plastic bag, and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
When serving as lettuce cups, store submerge leaves in a large bowl of cold water in the refrigerator. This method helps to keep lettuce cold and crisp. Gently dry with a kitchen towel before serving.
9 Butter Lettuce Recipe Ideas
- Avocado and Grapefruit Salad. Torn butter lettuce with grapefruit segments and ripe avocado slices, tossed with white wine vinaigrette.
- Apple, Walnuts and Gorgonzola Salad. Torn butter lettuce, green apple slices, toasted walnuts, and crumbled blue cheese with a mustard vinaigrette.
- Smashed Chickpea Salad Wraps. Smashed chickpeas combined with mayo, mustard, red onion, jalapeño, and hot sauce. Served with baby tomatoes and chopped parsley in lettuce cups.
- Rainbow Veggie Lettuce Wraps. Julienned purple cabbage, carrot, and radish pickled in rice vinegar. Served with soba noodles, edamame hummus, and lettuce cups.
- Turmeric Tilapia Lettuce Wraps. Inspired by the Vietnamese dish cha ca la vong, toss fried turmeric-seasoned fish with sautéed scallions and fresh dill. Serve with vermicelli noodles, roasted peanuts, dipping sauce, and lettuce cups.
- Mexican Chipotle Shrimp Lettuce Wraps. Chipotle-spiced grilled shrimp with black beans, avocado, and garlic-lime crema. Served in lettuce cups and eaten-taco style.
- Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps. Ground chicken cooked with ginger, garlic, water chestnuts, and green onions with hoisin sauce. Spoon the chicken mixture into the center of a lettuce leaf.
- Korean Grilled Beef Lettuce Wraps. Thinly-sliced beef marinated in a sweet and spicy marinade then seared on a grill. Fold a piece of steak, rice, raw julienned vegetables, and herbs inside a bib lettuce leaf.
- Mediterranean Lamb Meatball Lettuce Wraps. Meatballs with spiced ground lamb, served in lettuce cups with tzatziki sauce and diced tomatoes.
Simple Butter Lettuce Salad RecipeEMAIL RECIPE
- 2 heads butter lettuce
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- ½ cup thinly sliced radishes
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Separate the lettuce leaves. Tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Wash and dry the lettuce.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, salt, and black pepper to make a vinaigrette. Add the lettuce, radishes, fresh herbs, and toss well. Serve immediately.