Mary Ann's Blog

Lettuce...Not Just for Salads

Ok, I am going to admit that I am a lettuce snob. I can’t help it; we grow so many kinds that anything else is just no acceptable. Right now, I am inundated with all kinds of lettuce from Freckles, to Romaine to Oak Leaf, Quattro Stagione and many others. I do not grow iceberg and truth be told, the greener lettuce is, the more nutritious it is, so if you have looked at iceberg lettuce lately, it just does not measure up. A fresh, crisp salad is a staple for dinner and I serve it after the main course, as do the Italians and the French. 

We grow an abundance of lettuce in the Ciao Italia garden, so I give a lot of lettuce away but I have also come up with ways to use it other than in a salad. Here are ten suggestions:

1 Shred it to top your favorite taco

2 Chop and add it to soup

3 Use the leaves as a wrap instead of bread for sandwich fillings

4 Mince it to use in stuffing for vegetables

5 Mince and add to your meatball mixture

6 Use it in your next stir fry

7 Grill wedges of Romaine and serve with crumbled goat or feta cheese

8 Use as lettuce cups for minced ham or chicken or macaroni salad

9 Zap it into your next smoothie

10 Just munch it as a snack and enjoy the crunch


  1. Barbara Reidinger's avatar

    Barbara Reidinger

    I love adding a handful of mixed leafy greens to my smoothies! Not only get the fruit, protein and dairy benefits, but also veggie nutrients too - all in one container! How cool is that???? :-)
  2. mary ann's avatar

    mary ann

    Very cool, Barbara; thanks of sharing!
  3. Sammy Hani Hakim's avatar

    Sammy Hani Hakim

    Hi Chef Mary Ann:
    I like having both lettuce and spinach in salads. I think they both taste delicious and, would give such wonderful flavor to any kind of homemade salad you make. Also, when if you add a salad dressing on top either Ranch or, whatever dressing you like, I guarantee you would enjoy all the different flavors from that as well.
  4. Dan G's avatar

    Dan G

    I lobe using romaine as a vessel for chicken and tuna salad.

Leave a Comment

Looking for even more photos and recipes?
Order my latest book.

Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy

Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.

Order using this link and receive a signed book plate.

Available now!