Lettuce comes in many different varieties which are all high-fiber and low-calorie. Mesclun – a blend of baby salad greens which bring a range of mild to spicy flavors in one bowl – has become quite popular in the past few years. The beta carotene and Vitamin C found in lettuce help to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the body’s cells, which may decrease the formation of plaques in the artery walls. The folate in lettuce also contributes to heart health.
In the Kitchen
Leaves with more color tend to have more nutrients. Lettuce is best served crisp and cool as a base for garden, Caesar or taco salads, or used on sandwiches.
In the Garden
Lettuce is a companion to most plants, especially carrot, garlic, onion and radish. It is a competitor to none.
Most varieties of lettuce exude small amounts of white, milky liquid when their leaves are broken. This “milk” gives lettuce it’s slightly bitter flavor and its scientific name, “Lactuca,” is derived from the Latin word for milk.
Lettuce Greens and Cilantro Lime Dressing
- 1/2cupolive oil
- 1Tbspbrown sugar
- 1/4cupwhole cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1tspfresh lime juice
- 1tspgarlic, minced
- 1/4cupcider vinegar
- 1tspsoy sauce
- fresh lettuce greens
- Combine olive oil, brown sugar, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, cider vinegar and soy sauce in a small bowl.
- Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Serve over fresh lettuce greens. The dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
This recipe series is sponsored by the Center for Nutrition and Healthy Food Systems at the UVM Medical Center, focused on building sustainable food in health care.