7 tips on how to make lettuce taste great
Lettuce can add a splash of colour, texture and crunch to any meal. With many varieties of lettuce now available, from iceberg to oak, cos to butter and many more in between, the choices are endless.
Options are continually expanding with vibrant colours, textures and flavours now available. Served on the side or as part of a main meal when combined with complementary ingredients, lettuce is just so versatile.
I love adding fresh, crunchy lettuce as a tasty filling to salads, wraps and also in sandwiches. To achieve hero status with salads, choosing the right dressing is key. Chef Rossio, from Restaurant Rossio in Delft shares his five salad dressings to know by heart to help bring out the best flavour from your lettuce.
Here are 7 quick and easy tips on how to make lettuce taste great:
1. Mix it up to increase interest, by combining lettuce with a variety of other flavours, such as avocado, tuna, chicken, salmon or nuts. Try adding your favourite fruits, which may include chopped peaches, strawberries, blueberries, passionfruit, figs, mangoes or lychees to your salad. Add a vinaigrette or a creamy salad dressing to complete the dish. This Butterhead lettuce salad with strawberries, kale, almonds and goat cheese is a recipe I can’t wait to try.
2. Lettuce dishes do not need to be cold. Warm things up by steaming vegetables or potatoes and bulking up your salad with cauliflower, carrots or broccoli. Chickpeas and lentils can also add some colour and interest to your meal.
3. For a main meal, marinade some mushrooms, salmon, or chicken with teriyaki or soy sauce. Add some olive oil and garlic and serve with a simple salad of mixed lettuce, tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers. This dish, featuring salmon is a favourite in my household.
4. It’s easy to add some texture and interest to any salad, with ingredients you may not normally expect to find. Try brown rice, quinoa or cous cous for a healthy and hearty option.
5. Get spicy with tacos. Is there anything better than a simple and entertaining treat that lets your family and guests customise their meal? Place a selection of key ingredients in separate bowls, so everyone can choose their own combination. Offer a selection of lettuce options - red oak and butter leaf varieties add colour and interest. You may also want to spice things up for the adults, by offering chilli, and don’t forget the avocado and cheese! Try this Lettuce taco recipe that uses lettuce as an alternative option to tortilla shells.
6. Another way to eat lettuce is by blending it into a soup with butter, onion, garlic, potatoes, vegetable stock, basil and lemon. Serve with Greek yoghurt and hot crusty bread for a delicious meal that can be eaten hot or cold.
7. Try blending lettuce in a smoothie for a refreshing option by adding banana, apple, honey, nuts and almond milk. This green smoothie with lettuce and lime developed by a colleague in Indonesia looks so refreshing.
For salads, add your favourite dressing to capitalise on the flavour. A delicious and easy-to make dressing I love is this creamy dijon sauce. Don’t be afraid to give it your own spin by swapping out herbs and seasonings to your liking.
For more great recipe ideas, type your vegetable or cuisine in the search bar or check out Salapedia.