Let’s Talk about Lettuce!


Check out these interesting facts- and delicious local recipes- about Arizona grown lettuce! (photo credit: BigstockPhoto.com)

You may not realize this but the lettuce capital of the world is located right here in Arizona…at least for part of the year.  Yuma County in Arizona is number three on the list of the country’s top vegetable growers and for 5 months of the year, it provides 90% of the leafy green vegetables for the whole country.   Unlike other parts of the country, where the peak growing season is in the summer months, Arizona farmers can grow produce all year round with the peak seasons being, well, most anytime other than the summer.  And it turns out that the desert climate is perfect for growing a wide variety of leafy greens and lettuce.

Each year, more than 50,000 acres of farmland are dedicated to head lettuce with another 50,000 acres used just to grow romaine.  While these two greens account for the bulk of the lettuce grown in the winter months, many other varieties are also grown in smaller quantities.  Overall, lettuce contributes more than half a billion dollars in revenue for the state.

This month, let’s celebrate lettuce and the other leafy greens by buying local and using them in creative ways to fill our family’s plates.

Here are some great ways to incorporate lettuce and other leafy greens into your everyday menu.

  1. Asian Lettuce Wraps
  2. Chicken Lettuce Wraps
  3. Goat Cheese Lettuce Wraps
  4. Chopped Medjool Date Salad
  5. Crunchy Apple Salad
  6. Green Salad
  7. Grilled Romaine with Creamy Balsamic Dressing
  8. Join the Party Salad
  9. Buckboard Bacon Burger
  10. T-A-B-L-E Cosmos
  11. Tostados
  12. Country Garden Salad
  13. Orange Almond Salad
  14. Garlic Sautéed Swiss Chard
  15. Penne with Swiss Chard and Leeks in Cream Sauce
  16. Swiss Chard Tacos
  17. Swiss Chard with Beets, Goat Cheese, and Raisins
  18. Golden Beet and Pomegranate Salad
  19. Bacon, White Bean, and Kale Skillet
  20. Cashew Pesto Kale Chips
  21. Parmesan Kale Chips
  22. Turkey Sausage with Spicy Beans
  23. Chicken Picatta
  24. Eggs Sardou
  25. Fennel Spinach Pasta
  26. Greek Chicken
  27. Lemon Spinach
  28. Pasta Goat Cheese
  29. Farmer’s Favorite Salad
  30. Barbecue Chicken Salad

You can find locally grown lettuce, Swiss chard, arugula, spinach, and other leafy greens and delicious vegetables from these great local farms.

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