There are four basic types of lettuce: Crisphead, Butterhead, Looseleaf and Romaine (or Cos). Iceberg is the most common Crisphead. Look for a tightly formed head and few brown leaves. Common Butterheads include Bibb and Boston lettuce. Look for a tightly-held head at the root end and crisp, light green leaves with few blemishes. Looseleaf comprises a wide family of lettuces that can come in any shade (from red to dark green) - these lettuces have delicate leaves, so look for specimens that are firm and fresh. Finally, Romaine lettuce: longer in shape, the ideal head will have nice dark green outer leaves held tightly together at the root. To clean lettuce, submerge in a large bowl of cold water and let sit for a few minutes. Gently lift out and either layer the leaves with towels or use a salad spinner. To store cleaned lettuce, wrap in towels, place in an airtight container and promptly refrigerate.
Carla is the chef and owner of Alchemy Caterers in Washington, D.C. Her food balances the heart and soul of the South and the refinement of her classic French training. She enjoys creating memorable comfort dishes with fresh, seasonal and local ingredients. Carla approaches each event as an opportunity to make a connection with the client and to change the way they experience food. She always has good European butter, Couverture chocolate, bacon, heavy cream, olive oil - pomace and extra virgin - on hand and pies are one of her favorite things to make.