It's buttery; it's crunchy; it's buttercrunch lettuce -
Published Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 12:42 pm
It's buttery; it's crunchy; it's buttercrunch lettuce

Throughout the growing season we'll interview local farmers and chefs, among other food lovers, on what produce and products they're excited to cook with. For In Season, a series on Wednesdays, we'll find out how to eat seasonally, whether you shop at the farmers market or the neighborhood grocery store, or get a Community Supported Agriculture box dropped on your front porch each week.

Have a question about how to prepare a specific seasonal food? Email it to food writer Sarah Baker Hansen at

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Last weekend's farmers markets were a sea of greens and asparagus. At the Aksarben Farmers Market, packed on Sunday despite the rain, I came across a singular green: buttercrunch lettuce.

Ellen Shank had some at her Garden of Ellen booth, and the first thing I noticed was that the root ball and some dirt still were attached. She told me the lettuce stays crisper if she pulls up the whole plant.

The lettuce has a mellow, buttery taste — Shank said it is one of her favorites. She uses it in salads, as a relish or on sandwiches.

The Garden of Ellen booth will have buttercrunch lettuce for the next few weeks. The booth is at the Saturday market in Bellevue and the Nebraska City Farmers Market as well as at Aksarben.

Buttercrunch Lettuce with Apples, Walnuts and Pomegranate Seeds


• 2 tbsp. cider vinegar
• 1 tbsp. honey
• 1 tbsp. finely chopped shallot
• 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
• 1/3 cup vegetable oil
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


• 2 heads of buttercrunch lettuce leaves, gently torn
• 1 cups store-bought glazed walnuts
• 1 Honeycrisp or Fuji apple, quartered, cored, thinly sliced
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 cup pomegranate seeds
• cup tarragon leaves
• cup crumbled Stilton or Maytag blue cheese

For vinaigrette: Whisk first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper.

For salad: Place lettuce in a large bowl. Add vinaigrette, walnuts and apple; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with pomegranate seeds, tarragon and cheese.

— Recipe courtesy Bon Appetit magazine

Contact the writer: Sarah Baker Hansen    |   402-444-1069    |  

Sarah writes restaurant reviews and food stories for the World-Herald.

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