The salad bits

The salad bits

By
From
The Huxtaburger Book
Photographer
Chris Middleton

Lettuce: Ah, the leafy greens. It’s often said that you don't win friends with salad; I don’t necessarily agree with this. I love a good crisp leaf, and like to use different ones for different purposes.

With food we are always looking for balance, and lettuce is often a foil to the richness of the meat in a burger. Some people even use it as a wrap for the burger fillings when gluten or carbs are being avoided.

Washing lettuce is very important as it can often be gritty or sandy. Even more important than washing it is drying it – the last thing you want to do is add wet lettuce to your carefully constructed burger. Salad spinners are inexpensive and easy to use.

Iceberg lettuce: Iceberg lettuce is the old faithful of the lettuce world, often looked down upon in these times of gourmet salad mixes and micro greens. I find iceberg lettuce hard to beat for its refreshing flavour and texture, and its quality is very good year round too. Always discard the outer leaves and get rid of the tough white ribs – the light green pieces are the best.

Cos (romaine) lettuce: Best known for being the main ingredient in a caesar salad, cos lettuce has a wonderful crunch to it, and the ribs are actually quite nice to eat. I’d recommend thinly slicing it before adding it to a burger, as the long pointy leaves are not really the right shape to sit inside a bun.

Butter (bibb) lettuce: Butter lettuce has a lovely soft leaf with little texture, but quite a lovely, delicate flavour. I think it is more suited to subtle flavours such as seafood. It is also quite fragile, so be very gentle when working with it as it bruises easily.

Rocket (arugula): Rocket was the lettuce of the ’90s. This small dark green leaf has a lovely peppery bite. It goes especially well with strongly flavoured foods such as lamb or game. The long, wiry stalk is best picked off before using.

Kale: This dark green curly leaf is so insanely popular with the hipster and vegetarian communities that it demands inclusion. It can be eaten raw, lightly blanched in boiling salted water, or even fried or dried. It is packed full of healthy vitamins and antioxidants.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
leafy greens of your choice

Method

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