Jazz up iceberg lettuce


I grew up eating iceberg lettuce and liking it. In fact, I’ll admit to loving the stuff when I was little. Then, I became a chef and iceberg lettuce joined white bread, squeeze cheese and a roster of other childhood favourite foods as items that were too gauche for my shiny, new gourmet palate.

Recently, I’ve reconsidered my stance on iceberg lettuce. Truth be told, no other lettuce can rival it for crispiness and it does have a nice, sweet, mineral-edged flavour. So, today iceberg lettuce, I take this opportunity to tell you personally (if you can read, that is) that I was too harsh in my criticism of you. You are a noble vegetable that deserves my respect and support.

To make amends to this ubiquitous and inexpensive salad staple, I offer an update on the classic wedge salad that I hope will tempt you to give this maligned veggie a chance on your table.

Ginger Soy Dressing

2 tbsp (30 mL) rice vinegar
1 tbsp (15 mL) soy sauce
1 tsp (5 mL) sake or mirin
1 tsp (5 mL) grated ginger
1 tsp (5 mL) brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 mL) vegetable oil

Whisk the rice vinegar with the soy sauce, sake, ginger and sugar. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the oil. Shake or whisk well before using.

Makes just under 1/2 cup (125 mL)


18 Responses to Jazz up iceberg lettuce

  1. Amanda Laird says:

    I feel the same way, as I child I loved iceberg lettuce, and now, I am too “gourmet” for such a thing. No one can argue, however, that there is any lettuce better suited for a BLT than the modest iceberg!

  2. danamccauley says:

    Ooh, can’t agree with you there Amanda. I go romaine or frilly leaf lettuce all the way with a BLT and a club house, too.

  3. Morgan says:

    We once made taco salad with romaine…that was a sad dinner. Didn’t make the cut. I love the darker lettuces because their health benefits are better but sometimes iceberg is just what you need. That crispiness can’t be beat!

  4. BBQ Grail says:

    Yum! Now that’s a salad I’d enjoy.

  5. Sorry, Dana. I can’t generate any enthusiasm for iceberg lettuce. It’s watery, tasteless and anemic looking. I know mesculin mix has been done to death but that’s because it has flavour. Your dressing sounds tasty, but I’d pour it over tender butter lettuce instead.

  6. Amy Snider says:

    Here, here! As a Home Economist who speaks to culinary nutrition I often have to promote other darker, leafy greens over iceberg – but I too love this crisp, refreshing green!

  7. Barb says:

    I seldom buy iceberg lettuce for the health reasons we all know about but I do enjoy the crispness of it both on it’s own or as part of a salad mix. I will continue to buy on occasion. Besides, wasn’t that why Tupperware invented the Lettuce Keeper”?

  8. Rosa says:

    Wonderful and so refreshing! I love iceberg lettuce!



  9. The iceberg available around here, at least the stuff our buyer has been getting for classes, seems much different than what I grew up with. Greener with thinner, tighter leaves.

  10. Maris says:

    So true. I like iceberg lettuce mixed in with romaine for a little bit of crunch. And it’s always delicious with a creamy dressing.

  11. Patti H says:

    I like it mixed with the other greens to give a salad some crispy texture. I often buy a bag of pre-washed field or spring greens and mix it up with extra iceberg and romaine.

  12. cheryl says:

    I feel about iceberg the way I feel about Nacho Cheese Doritos. I don’t buy either, but if they’re served to me by other people I’ll eat both with glee.

    My only problem with wedge salads is I can’t eat them without splashing dressing all over myself. It’s hard to be dainty & demure while cutting into a wedge.

  13. Natashya says:

    I am glad to see iceberb make a comeback. It definitely has it’s place. Love the cold, crisp wedges on a hot day.

  14. Natashya says:

    Iceberg, that is. 🙂

  15. Diva says:

    Funny, I don’t really like iceberg lettuce – and never buy it – but serve it to me wedge salad style and I’m all over it. Love the Asian flair in your dressing here, nice change from the typical blue. It looks delish!

  16. Eagranie says:

    I love iceberg lettuce, but not as a salad green. Chinese restaurants put it in hot pot, and as weird as it sounds to cook lettuce, it’s delicious. It soaks up all the flavours of the sauce but still retains some of its texture.

    We (Chinese folks) also cook romaine lettuce, too. With soy sauce. I love it.

  17. Kevin says:

    Nice idea serving the iceberg lettuce in a wedge. I find that I keep coming back to romaine lettuce for salads.

  18. Sharon Haslam says:

    Iceberg lettuce is how I get my kids to eat spinach–mix baby spinach with crunchy iceberg and use oil, juice of a lemon and (lots of) honey as the dressing and they’re all over it. And shredded in a taco–another favourite! And baby shrimp salad in an iceberg lettuce leaf bowl–oh ya!

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