Florida Produce: Lettuce
|November 3, 2009||Posted by admin under Agriculture, Produce, Recipes|
When it comes to lettuce, not many people really think of it as a specific commodity like carrots or squash. I know I sure don’t. But Florida actually does produce a variety of lettuce.
The most popular varieties grown in Florida include escarole, endive, romaine, curly parsley and Chinese cabbage. Lettuce is grown throughout Florida and is available November through May. The months with the highest production are January and February.
How to buy
The darker the lettuce leaves the higher the nutrient content. Look for crisp-looking, brightly colored heads and avoid any that are wilted, blemished or slimy.
Tips for storage
Keep unwashed lettuces in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper for up to three days. When making salads ahead of time, put a damp paper towel over the salad to help keep it fresh.
Always wash lettuce under cold running water before eating. A salad spinner is a great tool to keep rinsed lettuce from becoming soggy. Always wait until the last minute to add dressing or vinaigrette to salads. Try braising or grilling lettuce that is still attached to the stem.
Flavors well with
Vinaigrette, pecans, cheese, citrus, thyme, basil, dill, sage
Here’ s a salad recipe from our Chef Justin that is quite tasty! Enjoy!
Strawberry and Pecan Salad with Honey Dressing
Yield 4 Servings
1 cup Florida strawberries, rinsed, dried, hulled and sliced
1 ripe Florida avocado, sliced
3 cups salad greens (arugula, romaine, leaf lettuce)
Toasted Florida pecans
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons natural Florida sugar
4 teaspoons Florida honey (tupelo, orange blossom)
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, olive oil, honey, vinegar and lemon juice. Taste vinaigrette for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper. Arrange the salad greens in a serving bowl or on individual plates and add slices of avocado and strawberries on top. Lightly drizzle dressing to taste and then top with toasted pecans. Serve as soon as salad is complete.