I’m a big fan of loose leaf lettuce. I classify loose leaf lettuce as green and red leaf lettuce with their curly edges and the dark green flat leaf Romaine.
These greens are versatile. Use them to line platters or bowls. All three are perfect on sandwiches, they’re crispy and cover the sandwich edge to edge. And, of course they make delicious salads.
To clean, remove the core by slicing the end off. As you get to the center, slice away the inner core. Place the loose leaves in a large bowl of cold water and gently swish to remove dirt and/or bugs. Swish the red leaf lettuce gently, it’s more fragile than green leaf and Romaine. Drain, and rinse again. The lettuce is clean when no grit remains on the bottom of the bowl.
Watch the Video on Loose Leaf Lettuce Here:
Spin dry and lay flat in one layer across a length of paper towel. The residual water on the lettuce is absorbed by the paper. The water is necessary to keep the lettuce crisp but if it remains on the leaves, the lettuce rots quickly.
Green leaf and Romaine last 7-10 days when cleaned and stored properly, especially the ones purchased at the farmer’s market, which are so fresh. Red leaf lettuce is fragile and should be used within 3-4 days.
These greens stand up well to vinegar-based dressings and creamy dressings. Romaine is the lettuce typically used in the classic Caesar salad. Use whole hearts of Romaine drizzled with a creamy dressing for a different presentation.