This week’s featured ingredient is Butterhead Lettuce. Other names for this sweet and tender head lettuce are Boston, Bibb, and Butter lettuce.
Lettuce is believed to have been first cultivated by the ancient Egyptians. It spread to the Greeks and Romans, who gave it the name “lactuca“, from which the modern “lettuce” was derived.
Lettuce is said to have first been brought to the Americas from Europe by Christopher Columbus in the late 15th century. 1
Butterhead lettuce is a source of vitamin A, potassium, vitamin C, calcium, iron, copper, and fiber. 2
This week’s recipe is for Butterhead Lettuce Cups. A salad one can hold in one’s hand, this simple dish is a refreshing way to enjoy Summer’s bounty of vegetables. Grab a leaf of tender lettuce and fill it with one’s choice of colorful veggies, legume, rice, creamy peanut sauce, crunchy peanuts, and/or fresh herbs. This hands-on food will get little ones’ excited about vegetables. Substitute one’s favorite dressing, nuts/seeds, and veggies. Serve outside in your garden or yard with sun tea or lemonade for a complete Summer experience.
This past weekend The Establishment Reunion took place in San Luis Obispo, Ca. The Establishment is a 19-bedroom historical home in downtown San Luis Obispo, Ca. Its community is loosely organized around house dinners, home projects, group fun and community projects. I have many fond memories of living in the Establishment, including talent shows, riding bicycles to art openings dressed as pandas, and forming the healthy cooking club The Berry Fairies with friends Ashlee and Annie.
It couldn’t have been an Establishment event without a big potluck in the garden, to which my husband Patrick and I brought a platter of Butterhead Lettuce Cups. After dinner, we shared stories from years past:
Before the potluck, we had our own Establishment Olympics in the local park, complete with torch lighting ceremony and human musical chairs:
Thanks to this year’s reunion organizers – it was wonderful seeing everyone!
Butterhead Lettuce Cups
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4-10 servings
1 head bibb lettuce
1/2 cucumber, cut into half moons
2 carrots, julienned
1 cup red cabbage, julienned
1 cup Asian-marinated tofu
1/4 cup honey roasted peanuts, chopped
Optional: fresh mint, cilantro leaves, cooked chopped meat, rice
Peanut Sauce (recipe below) or favorite salad dressing
1. Chop ingredients, & place in serving bowls.
2. Fill lettuce leaves with one’s choice of veggies, legumes, nuts and sauce.
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 Tbsp sweet Thai chili sauce (or date paste/syrup)
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar to taste
1 Tablespoon soy sauce to taste
pinch black pepper
a little water to thin texture if needed
1. Stir ingredients together in bowl.
2. Taste. Adjust seasonings. Thin with a little water if needed.
3. Spoon onto Butterhead Lettuce cups.
1. Zohary, Daniel; Hopf, Maria; Weiss, Ehud (2012). Domestication of Plants in the Old World: The Origin and Spread of Domesticated Plants in Southwest Asia, Europe, and the Mediterranean Basin. Oxford University Press.