When you eat a salad with soft, buttery greens, you’re probably eating Bibb lettuce, which is delicious. This leaf is available all year long and has a light but rich flavor. It makes a great wrap for gluten-free tacos and wraps and can make a side salad sing with very little work. It’s more expensive than other lettuces, but you’ll understand and appreciate why once you start using it. Bibb and Boston are the two main types of butterhead lettuce.
The only real difference between the two is the size and color of the leaves. And Boston leaves are usually reddish, while Bibb leaves are usually light green. Some people say that Bibb is sweeter, but that’s based on how the person likes to eat. The sweet, tender leaves of butter lettuce make great salad greens, but the large outer leaves of the plant can also be used to make a vessel for low-carb meals like tacos or Korean grilled beef lettuce wraps. As long as the food you want to eat can be scooped up, butter lettuce can handle it.
What is Bibb Lettuce?
Bibb lettuce is a tender green that almost melts in your mouth like butter. It was named after John Bibb, a lawyer in Kentucky who grew it in his home in Frankfort and gave it its name. So, the butterhead type of lettuce. This green, which was first called “limestone lettuce,” was made by Bibb in the 1860s. However, it wasn’t sold commercially until a century later, and it took many years after that for it to become popular.
This is one of the two types of butterhead lettuce that people want the most. The other is Boston lettuce. The leaves on this featured ingredient are smaller and don’t turn reddish-purple as Boston’s leaves do. Instead, they tend to stay alight, springy green color. All butterhead lettuces have big, loose heads that look like roses in bloom. The younger the plant, the tighter the head is.
The Bibb lettuce and the Boston lettuce are both types of butter lettuce. It is known for having loose, round heads with sweet, tender leaves and a mild taste. All types of butterhead lettuce have leaves that are smooth and loosely coiled. The roots are often still attached when sold to keep them fresh.
What to do with Bibb Lettuce?
If you can’t stop yourself from eating fresh Bibb lettuce right off the head, put it in a salad. Because the leaves are light and tender, you don’t need a heavy dressing, if you want any at all. It can easily be the star of the dish and goes well with crumbled blue cheese, shaved carrot, a sprinkle of buttermilk dressing, and chopped pecans.
You can also wrap food in the large, bendy leaves. We’re talking about things like shredded chicken, grilled kababs, steak strips that have been marinated, roasted mushrooms, and more. People who are low-carb or gluten-free often use this ingredient instead of tortillas because it doesn’t break apart when you bend it as more crunchy lettuce does.
What does Bibb Lettuce Taste Like?
Bibb lettuce tastes like green butter, but the butter is crunchy instead of oily. The flavor isn’t strong enough to stand out, but it can satisfy the desire for richer foods when eaten by itself. It is also slightly sweet, making it a great green to eat with roasted pork, pineapple, and blue cheeses. Bibb lettuce tastes like green butter, but the butter is crunchy instead of oily. The flavor isn’t strong enough to stand out, but it can satisfy the desire for richer foods when eaten by itself.
Where to Buy Bibb Lettuce?
Because this green is so popular, you can find Bibb lettuce in many grocery stores at any time of year. It usually comes in a clamshell or some other kind of protective case. This keeps the soft leaves from getting bruised, which is easy, especially if you handle them a lot. Butterhead lettuces usually have a neat bundle of dirt and roots at the bottom of the head, which keeps the lettuce fresh. The best way to know it’s at its best is to get a whole head with the roots.
You might also see lettuces being picked and put into ready-to-eat boxes, either by themselves or with other tender greens. These are baby butterheads most of the time, and in this form, they stay crisp well. Keep in mind that the leaf will go bad faster than romaine or iceberg because it is more fragile.
Don’t pull out the roots until it’s time to eat if you buy a whole head of Bibb lettuce. Please put it in the shell or the crisper drawer and wrap a damp cloth around it. You can pull the leaves off the head as you need them, and they will stay fresh for about a week. Butterhead lettuce won’t last as long if the roots aren’t there. Your greens will last longer if you keep them cool and slightly damp.
Is Bibb Lettuce the Same as Butter Lettuce?
The Bibb lettuce and the Boston lettuce are both types of butter lettuce. It is known for having loose, round heads with sweet, tender leaves and a mild taste. All types of butterhead lettuce have leaves that are smooth and loosely coiled. The roots are often still attached when sold to keep them fresh. If you can’t find Bibb lettuce, you can use one of these other types of lettuce instead: The best choice would be Boston lettuce, but the leaves are bigger. OR – Choose a different type of red or green leaf lettuce. Both of these lettuces have soft leaves.
Some people say that Bibb lettuce melts on your tongue like butter, but this is not true. It does feel like it’s melting, but the leaf will stay together until you break it. Even though it’s called “fat” lettuce, it doesn’t have extra fat, and it just tastes good enough to make you feel bad.
9 Varieties of Butter Lettuce
Most of the time, butter lettuce is either green-leaf or red-leaf:
The nine types of butter lettuce with green leaves are:
The seven red-leaf varieties of butter lettuce include:
Flashy Butter Oak Leaf
How Long will Bibb Lettuce Last?
Most of the time, you should use loose lettuce leaves within seven to ten days. You probably won’t be able to keep them for much longer. Heads of lettuce last longer in the refrigerator, and you can expect them to last from one to three weeks, depending on the type. Tight heads of lettuce, like icebergs, last the longest. Don’t throw out a whole head of lettuce just because some of the outer leaves look wilted. The rest of the head should be fine if you peel them off.
If you want to know if your lettuce is still good to eat, use your senses. If it smells bad, looks bad, or feels slimy, throw it away or put it in the compost. Your health is more important than the few dollars you’ll spend on more lettuce.
How to Keep Lettuce Fresh Longer?
Loose-Leaf Lettuce (and Greens)
Don’t let your lettuce go bad before you can use it. Find out how to keep loose-leaf and head lettuce fresh for at least a week.
- Wash your lettuce and take off any leaves that are hurt. Do this even if you bought bags of lettuce that have already been washed since they can contain.
- Dry the lettuce very well. Use a salad spinner if you have one. It will get rid of the extra water without breaking up the lettuce. If you don’t have one, use a paper towel or dishtowel to pat the lettuce gently.
- Wrap the lettuce in a dry paper towel and put it in a plastic bag or storage container. You can put it back in the container if you wash it first.
- Put your lettuce in the crisper drawer of your fridge to stay at the right temperature and level of moisture.
- If the paper towel feels very wet, throw it away. This is the trick to making sure your lettuce doesn’t get slimy.
- Every day or two, check on your lettuce. Take off any leaves that look like they are going bad. The rest of the lettuce won’t go bad because of this.
Far from the shrink-wrapped iceberg lettuce we all know so well—perfectly round and crunchy, almost all water, and able to last a long time after being picked—the many types of lettuce available at grocery stores and farmers’ markets have a wide range of textures, colors, and tastes. You can make an interesting salad instead of a boring one that looks and tastes the same.
In general, salad greens grow best in cool weather. They are at their best in the spring and early summer, before high temperatures and long days make them bolt and taste bitter. You can find lettuce all year long in very temperate climates, in the fall and spring in most temperate climates, and from late spring to summer in cooler climates.