What Everyone Needs To Know About Butter Lettuce

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Naomi Blue Published: March 30, 2021 Modified: September 22, 2021
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Every day is a good day for some nutritious and refreshing lettuce in your delicious salad dish. They say getting healthy is a difficult road, but eating your way to a more nutritious diet? It’s never been this easy. 

Not only do these healthy greens add a pop of color to your dishes, but they are also rich in health benefits. In this article, we introduce to you one of the most common and popular lettuce there is: butter lettuce!

Read on to discover how to choose, prepare, and store butter lettuce. Make this leafy green a wonderful addition to your favorite chicken salad recipes, and other hearty recipes we have in line for you.

What Is Butter Lettuce?

butter lettuce, butterhead lettuce on a row
Butter lettuce or butterhead lettuce is one of the most common types of lettuces out there. It has silky bright green leaves which are cupped and tender, making them the perfect choice for making salads with creamy dressings.

Butter lettuce is the most peony-looking among all the types of lettuces. This leafy green has a more fragile texture than romaine lettuce. They’re also mellow sweet and a bit citrusy in flavor.

The two most common types of butter lettuce are Boston lettuce and Bibb lettuce. Boston lettuce’s head closely resembles the petals of a flower. Bibb lettuce which is also known as limestone, on the other hand, has a smaller, cup-shaped head.

Butter Lettuce vs. Other Types of Lettuce

To better understand how butter lettuce compares to other different types of lettuce, here are the other common varieties you should know of.

  • Romaine Lettuce – This elongated leafy green is the main ingredient used in everyone’s favorite caesar salad. It has crispy leaves and a crunchy stem with has a stronger semi-bitter flavor.
  • Crisphead Lettuce – This lettuce is also known as Iceberg lettuce and is commonly mistaken as a cabbage due to its pale green color and round shape. This crisp, watery lettuce is your best choice if you’re looking for a refreshing salad.
  • Leaf Lettuce – This variety has loose leaves joined at a stem. It has a green to deep red color at the edges with ruffled ends. It’s not too crispy and not too tender too, just the right buttery texture. Its taste varies from mild to sweet depending on the lettuce color. 
  • Stem Lettuce – It has a long and thick edible stem with a mild flavor. This lettuce is the best option for your stir-fried and pickled dishes. 

How to Choose and Prepare Butter Lettuce

butter lettuce in a bowl, mixing butter lettuce with other ingredients

When these greens are all laid down before your eyes, pretty and inviting at the grocery aisle, you’ll never think twice about what to get. But just to take note, in choosing your lettuce, pick the leafy and heavy bundles. You want to avoid those that are wilted or those that already have brown edges.

Before serving the lettuce as is, or mixing it with other ingredients, wash them properly first. Remove the grit, and soak its separated leaves in a large bowl of water for ten minutes. You can dry them using a salad spinner or a paper towel.

But remember, don’t wash the lettuce yet until you’re ready to serve them. This is to avoid damaging the leaves and for them not to wilt faster. If you don’t know where to buy butter lettuce, we suggest that you get them at the nearby farmers market as they ensure the freshest harvest of in-season vegetables.

Health Benefits of Lettuce

butter lettuce close up shot

As we’ve said, these healthy greens don’t simply add a pop of color to your salads. You can also use its tender leaves as wrapping for other food. Veggie lettuce wraps are low carb, low fat, low calorie, and low in sodium content.

It’s also amazing that you don’t necessarily have to cook lettuce in order to enjoy it. Raw lettuce is mostly water content, so eating it also hydrates the body. The nutritional content of lettuces may vary on its own type, but all of them share a great amount of vitamin A, C,  K, calcium, and iron that help build stronger bones.

Butter lettuce’s nutritional value can also boost healthy skin, teeth, and muscles. It’s also a good source of carotenoid antioxidants, namely, beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These properties protect your eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration, a condition that can result in poor eyesight.

Must-Try Butter Lettuce Recipes

orange waldorf salad served with butter lettuce

You can never run out of butter lettuce salad ideas to cook at home! And don’t worry, we have a lot more to recommend. These recipes are very simple and easy to recreate.

Here are some of the best butter lettuce salads and wraps you can try making. You will be surprised at how delicious these lettuce recipes can be!

  • Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps – You’ll love these spicy and savory beef wraps made with fresh ground beef with sauteed broccoli, and gochujang. 
  • Thai-Style Lettuce Wraps Recipe – Enjoy a vegan-friendly snack with veggies and pecans wrapped with butter lettuce and garnished with red pepper flakes.
  • Lettuce Salad with Fruit  – Grab a spoonful of this refreshing summer salad made with lettuce, strawberries, cantaloupe, raspberries.
  • Greens and Mandarin Orange Salad – This sweet and citrusy salad uses white wine vinegar for dressing and romaine lettuce but you can also substitute it with a head of butter lettuce if you want softer and mildly-flavored greens.
  • Avocado Tabbouleh – This avocado salad recipe has chopped parsley, tomato, scallions, and mint. Scoop a heaping spoonful of this mixture on your butter lettuce and you’re all set.
  • Crispy Laab Meatballs – These loaded meatballs could use a wrap of butter lettuce for serving. It’s crispy, tangy, and spicy all in one bite.
  • Grilled Chicken Avocado and Mango Salad – Enjoy well-seasoned cuts of chicken drizzled with vinaigrette dressing consisting of olive oil and white balsamic vinegar.
  • Chopped Salad with Shrimp and Bacon – Have a plate of this salad with shrimp, avocado, blue cheese, and bacon for a filling lunch.

Best Way to Store Butter Lettuce

butter lettuce soaked in water

If you happen to buy lettuce with its roots, keep the roots intact in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag for longer shelf life. It can last a month longer or even more compared with those that don’t have any roots. However, it is more expensive than the latter.

If it doesn’t have any root attached, you can wrap a damp paper towel around it before placing it in a plastic bag or container. Then, store it in your fridge’s crisper drawer. It will last for a whole week.

Butter lettuce can go with anything

Be it fruits, veggies, or meat, these versatile greens make a great food pairing with any ingredient you can think of. So it’s no wonder why people enjoy their salads and wraps for lunch or dinner! Go ahead and include these healthy greens in your meals for a more yummy and healthy diet. 

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Naomi Blue

Naomi is a writer, editor, and manga enthusiast. She has written for various websites, events, and ad commercials. She is also an avid fan of street food and food history. She’s currently in her Japanese and Indonesian food phase and is interested in exploring Vietnamese cuisine next.

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