Lettuces are leafy greens enjoyed in salads and also used in cooked vegetable dishes. Many green-leaf or red-leaf varieties are available. Iceberg is a crisp, bland-tasting head lettuce. Romaine, also called cos, has an elongated head and dark green leaves. Leaf lettuce, both red and green, is frilly and open. Butterhead lettuces, such as Bibb and Boston, have soft, pliable leaves. Select lettuce that looks fresh-never wilted-and has good, glowing color. Wash all lettuce before storing; dry the leaves on paper towels or in a salad spinner. Refrigerate in a plastic bag for 5-7 days.
To wash and dry lettuce leaves:
Break the leaves from the core. For iceberg, pound the head, core down, on the counter; pull out loosened core. Rinse the leaves in a bowl or sink of cold water. Spin dry in a salad spinner or pat dry with a kitchen towel.