Maximizing Iceberg Lettuce

Iceberg lettuce gets a bad rap for having little nutritional content or flavor, but its cool, crunchy texture is perfect shredded for sandwiches or served in wedges with a creamy dressing (as in Iceberg Wedges with Bacon, Blue Cheese, and Buttermilk Dressing).

According to hounds, iceberg works surprisingly well in hot preparations. chowser likes it stir-fried. "My mom used to do it," she says, "and it was odd at first bite but there's something about it that's addicting." "ANY lettuce is good with chicken broth, chopped onion, and some curry powder in lettuce soup," according to blue room. "Iceberg keeps its crunch much better than others in hot liquid."

Hounds have a couple of nifty tips for prepping iceberg. greygarious explains how to remove the core from the head easily, making it easier to separate the leaves or break into sections: "Hold the head in both hands, core side down, and give it one solid bash onto the counter. Turn it over, twist the core, and it pops right out."

After she removes the core, janniecooks holds the head under the tap, cored side up, and fills it with cold water, letting the water run between the leaves. Then she drains it, cored side down, in a colander for half an hour. Store it in a plastic bag with a folded paper towel under the cored end to absorb any remaining water. Change the paper towel the next day, "and you'll find the lettuce keeps for at least two weeks, staying wonderfully crispy and fresh," she says.

Discuss: Tip for the iceberg

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