Butter Lettuce: How to Use, Prep & Store

Butter lettuce is soft and succulent with a mild, sweet flavor.

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You might also know it as: Butterhead lettuce, Boston lettuce, and Bibb lettuce

Taste: sweet, mild

How to buy: Look for butter lettuce with fairly large, loose heads with thick leaves and even green coloring.

How to eat: It’s subtle taste and crisp leaves means that Butter lettuce lends itself to countless uses. Butter lettuce makes for a wonderful salad, especially with creamy salad dressings. Also, its leaves are ideally sized for sandwiches, and the leaves are almost almost crisp and tout – perfect for making sandwiches. This also makes it great for using as a low-carb wrap or edible vessel (e.g. tacos, lettuce wraps).

How to store: Store in a perforated bag and refrigerate the lettuce at 35 to 40 degrees F within two hours of purchasing.

Health Benefits

A type of head lettuce, this tender lettuce has a smooth texture and its most well know varieties are ‘Bibb’ or ‘Boston lettuce,’ which are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin (1223µg/100g).1

Research suggests that these two antioxidant carotenoids reduce the risks of malignant melanoma, the most severe type of skin cancer, by protecting the skin against UV radiation,2 as well as filter light’s high-energy blue and blue-green wavelengths from the visible-light spectrum – in doing so, lutein and zeaxanthin help prevent cell damage in the eyes.3

3 sources

  1. Webb AJ, Patel N, Loukogeorgakis S, et al. (2008) Acute blood pressure lowering, vasoprotective, and antiplatelet properties of dietary nitrate via bioconversion to nitrite. Hypertension.; 51(3):784-790.
  2. Bunning, M. (2007) Evaluation of Antioxidant and Sensory Properties of Multiple Cultivars of Colorado-grown Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). PhD Dissertation. Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.
  3. Millen AE, Tucker MA, Hartge P, et al. (2004) Diet and melanoma in a case-control study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev.; 13(6):1042-51.

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