Fun Facts about Lettuce:
In season- April, May
- Lettuce shouldn’t be stored near apples, bananas, or any other ethylene-emitting fruits. Ethylene causes lettuce to ripen super fast and start to decay rapidly!
- Because lettuce is about 95% water, it has to be eaten fresh and cannot be frozen, dried, pickled, or canned.
- Christopher Columbus was the person who introduced lettuce to America during his second voyage to the New World in 1494.
Health Benefits of Lettuce:
- Lettuce is a source of vitamin K, which helps strengthen bones. Consuming adequate amounts of vitamin K can also reduce your risk of bone fracture.
- Water makes up over 95% of raw lettuce. As a result, eating lettuce hydrates the body.
- Lettuce is a source of vitamin A, which plays a role in eye health. Vitamin A can reduce a person’s risk of cataracts.
Types of Lettuce:
- Head lettuce gets its name from its round shape. This variety includes iceberg and butterhead lettuces, both of which are commonly sold in grocery stores.
- Leaf lettuces don’t form a head and are instead connected to a stem. Some of these lettuces are darker in color or have reddish leaves.
- Romaine lettuce is another lettuce type commonly sold in grocery stores. It’s also known as the main ingredient in Caesar salad.
- Celtuce lettuce, also called asparagus lettuce or stem lettuce, has a distinctive, large stem. This lettuce variety is common in China, but less common in the Western world.
- Iceberg lettuce has the highest water content and is generally the lettuce type with the lowest amount of nutrients.
Cooking with Lettuce:
- Lettuce is a leafy vegetable, famous for giving salads their base and commonly found in sandwiches.
Recipe using Lettuce:
- Mushroom Tofu Lettuce Wraps
- For the Sauce:
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons hoisin
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha (optional for spice)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- For the Mushroom Tofu Filling:
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1-inch fresh ginger, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 350g block extra-firm or firm tofu, drained and pressed
- 8 oz button or cremini mushrooms, chopped
- To serve:
- 1 head romaine or butter lettuce, leaves separated
- Toppings; grated carrots, sesame seeds, chopped green onions, chopped peanuts, crushed red pepper flakes, or more Sriracha
- To prep the tofu: Prepare the tofu by draining it, and then pressing it for 15 to 30 minutes. (Pressing the tofu squeezes excess water out so that the tofu can suck up more of the marinade and become more flavourful.)
- Make the sauce: Add all of the sauce ingredients to a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Prepare the filling: In a large skillet or non-stick pan heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, ginger, and garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes until the onions turn translucent and begin to brown.
- Reduce the heat to medium and use your hands to crumble the tofu into the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes until the tofu begins to brown. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms are cooked through and darker in color, about 5 minutes.
- Assemble the lettuce wraps: Spoon a couple of tablespoons of the tofu filling into each lettuce leaf, and then garnishing with any toppings as desired.