Not all lettuce is created equal, but if you start your meal with a salad made of romaine lettuce you will be sure to add not only a variety of textures and flavors to your meal but an enormous amount of nutritional value. Most of the domestic U.S. harvest of romaine lettuce and other salad greens comes from California and is available throughout the year.
Lettuce is synonymous with salads as they are predominantly made from crispy green lettuce leaves. Most varieties of lettuce exude small amounts of a white, milky liquid when their leaves are broken. This "milk" gives lettuce its slightly bitter flavor and its scientific name, Lactuca sativa derived from the Latin word for milk.
Native to the eastern Mediterranean region and western Asia, lettuce has a long and distinguished history. With depictions appearing in ancient Egyptian tombs, the cultivation of lettuce is thought to date back to at least 4500 BC. The ancient Greeks and Romans held lettuce in high regard both as a food and for its therapeutic medicinal properties.
In China, where lettuce has been growing since the 5th century, lettuce represents good luck. It is served on birthdays, New Year's Day and other special occasions. Christopher Columbus introduced varieties of lettuce to North America during his second voyage in 1493. Lettuce was first planted in California, the lettuce capital of the United States, by the Spanish missionaries in the 17th century. Its popularity across the US did not become widespread until centuries later with the development of refrigeration and railway transportation.
Portabella Mushroom Burger
Copyright 2012 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.
2 portabella mushrooms, clean and stems removed
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
4 slices bread, toasted
1/2 cup romaine lettuce
Preheat skillet to medium high heat.
Lightly brush mushrooms with olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper. Place mushrooms round side down in skillet. Cook about 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until tender.
Spread light mayonnaise on each slice of bread, add mushrooms and romaine lettuce, top with remaining bread slice. Enjoy!
You may also like these recipes: