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July Edition: Lettuce!

It’s the height of summer and the perfect time to explore the season’s heavenly varieties of Lettuce! Greens are so vibrant and sweet right now that dressings are practically unnecessary.  Green salads are a main staple in my diet and something I encourage my friends and clients to embrace. Admittedly, I have cultivated a bit of a following for my salads and if I had to pick one thing that I make the best – well, that would be it. To me, a truly great salad involves a green at its base and evolves from there.

For some, salads evoke the image of a meager meal starter or perhaps the memory of a wedge of iceberg lettuce with a scoop Hellmann’s mayo (which happened to be my grandfather’s favorite).  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Midwestern girl at heart and adore a good hunk of iceberg from time to time, but that wedge has so much potential.  Organic Iceberg with a few shaved red onions, chopped celery and topped with a sweet Cashewed-Tomato Dressing… I promise your view on iceberg will change!

It wasn’t until I began spending time in Europe that I started to deeply explore various families of lettuce. In NY I took for granted the gorgeous Romaine I could get from the farmstand.  Romaine is my favorite lettuce for its crunch, and its dipping and wrapping potential. But there are 5 families of lettuce, and in those families at least 4 or 5 brothers and sisters. So Butter Lettuce is not Boston Lettuce and each sibling will vary in sweetness, texture, shape and leaf quality.