A Fresh Veg Blog

Beautiful Burgundy Butter

by Loree Dowse | March 2016

As someone who has prepared many a salad for high-end caterers and a cooking school in San Francisco, I’ve worked with some pretty decent produce. I can honestly say that when I first saw Mann’s Burgundy Butter™ lettuce, though, I was pretty impressed. With one tiny circular cut at its base, I watched as one of my co-workers took the head in his hands and shifted the leaves a bit. My jaw dropped as the head opened up like a flower to reveal a gorgeous burgundy-to-green ombre explosion.  Because of its petite leaves, one head fits perfectly on a dinner plate for the most dramatic entree salad I had seen. And that was just my initial impression. Mann’s exclusive variety is the first of its kind in the foodservice market, and its subtle sweet flavor and soft buttery texture is as appealing as its eye-popping presentation.

Butter lettuce is very aptly named. Delicate, tender and yes, buttery, we adore these pretty little heads. Also known as Boston or Bibb lettuce (which are actually two different cultivars of the category moniker Butterhead), good quality butter lettuce has a loosely-formed head and wavy leaves that make it look like an open rose. And Burgundy Butter takes that flower comparison one step further with its stunning color variation. Plus, the heart of butter lettuce is just as delicious as its outer leaves, making for very little waste in preparation. And we like less waste!

Mann’s Burgundy Butter is obviously great for salads (check out the amazing rosette salad below), but it also has a perfect sandwich-sized leaf. Carb-conscious eaters can wrap it around an Asian chicken wrap or tuna salad too. And according to our 2013 Lettuce Revolution survey by Technomic, two-thirds of restaurant goers say they’re eager to try new and unique varieties of salad greens.

I think you just found your new best friend.

Burgundy Butter Rosette rectangle

Burgundy Butter™ Rosette Salad with Savory Granola and Sunshine Tomatoes

  •  1 head Mann’s Burgundy Butter™ Lettuce, washed whole and dried
  • Sun dried tomato vinaigrette (recipe below)
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 large yellow heirloom tomato, cut into 8 wedges
  • Savory granola (recipe below)

Cut out the core of the lettuce and spread out the leaves on a dinner plate like a rosette. Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese and place the tomato wedges in between the leaves. Top with savory granola, drizzle with the sun dried tomato vinaigrette, and serve.

Makes 1 entrée salad

Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette

  • 6 oil packed sun-dried tomato halves
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 small shallot, halved
  • 6 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Place sun-dried tomatoes, vinegars, shallot, basil, mustard, salt and pepper in a food processor. Blend until combined, then add the oil in a slow stream. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if necessary.

 Savory Granola Crumbles

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon rice bran oil
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup pepitas, roasted
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 3 tablespoon brown rice syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Rinse and drain the quinoa. Heat a large heavy-­bottomed pot with a lid over medium. Once the pot is heated, add the oil and swirl around to evenly coat bottom of pot. (You may want to use a mesh splatter guard for the “popping” quinoa.) Make sure quinoa is well drained, then add it to the pot. Note: The wet quinoa might make the oil splatter a bit. Stir the quinoa around every 30­-60 seconds to prevent it from burning. Keeping a watchful eye, place the lid/splatter guard on the pot as necessary and let cook for about 3-­5 minutes during which time the quinoa will start to pop. After 5­-7 minutes, the popping should continue, and the quinoa will start turning golden brown. After 7­-9 minutes the popping will subside, and the quinoa should be a nice golden color. Immediately transfer the puffed quinoa to large plate and spread out into an even layer so it can cool quickly.

GRANOLA: Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 9”x13” baking dish with cooking spray or oil and set aside. In a large bowl combine puffed quinoa, oats, pepitas and poppy seeds, stirring together to create a consistent mixture.

In a small microwave­-safe bowl, add brown rice syrup, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper and stir together until smooth. Microwave the syrup mixture for 30 seconds or until the syrup is bubbly, hot and pourable. Pour hot syrup over the granola mixture and toss together until the granola is evenly coated. Transfer granola into greased baking dish and press down into an even layer. Bake granola for 25­-30 minutes, gently tossing and pressing back down into an even layer every 10 minutes or so (a rubber spatula works best for this). The granola is done when deeply golden, but before edges are burned. Using large spatula, scoop out the granola in as many large pieces as possible and place onto a sheet of parchment paper to cool. Once cooled completely, break apart into crouton-sized clusters.

Makes 4 cups

Granola can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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