Celebrate Fourth of July with a Red, White and Blue Salad made with our Live Gourmet Living Red Butter Lettuce

 

FullSizeRender (3)What would Fourth of July be without hot dogs grilled on the barbecue, your aunt’s famous cherry pie and creamy potato salad? Though these ubiquitous summer dishes are tasty, it doesn’t hurt to add fruits and veggies to your spread.

A red, white and blue salad made with our Living Red Butter Lettuce will be a colorful tasty addition—not to mention it will boost your vitamin and mineral intake for the day. Did you know? “Red-leaf varieties of butter lettuce [like ours] feature leaves that are similar to green-leaf varieties but have distinctive edges, swirls or speckles of red on the foliage,” says the SF Gate.

Butter Lettuces have the softest leaves among all lettuce varieties and are tender with cup shaped leaves that create a loosely formed head. They often resemble a flowering rose. Red Butter Lettuce is rich in calcium and a good source of iron, vitamins A and C.

Pick up our Live Gourmet Living Red Butter Lettuce in your local grocer’s fresh produce section and get cookin’!

Red, White and Blue Salad with Live Gourmet’s Living Red Butter Lettuce
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Salad
  1. 1 Head of Live Gourmet’s Living Red Butter Lettuce
  2. ½ cup cherries halved and pitted
  3. ½ cup raspberries
  4. 1 cup blueberries
  5. 1 apple peeled and diced
Dressing
  1. 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  2. 1 tablespoon grain mustard
  3. 2 teaspoons honey
  4. ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  5. pinch of Cayenne pepper
  6. ½ cup of olive oil
Instructions
  1. Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients together except for the olive oil. Once the ingredients have been mixed well, slowly add the olive oil into the mixture. Whisk until smooth.
  2. Wash all of the salad ingredients and tear the Living Red Butter Lettuce into bite size pieces.
  3. Peel and dice the apple
  4. Combine all of the salad ingredients together in a bowl and drizzle the dressing on top
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Hollandia Produce Named 2016 FABI Winner by NRA

 

Living Baby Butter Lettuce (1)Live Gourmet® and our certified organic Grower Pete’s brands of living lettuce and leafy greens have been popular national sellers for years. Yet, what many of our patrons don’t know is that we’re found on many restaurant menus. That’s why this week we’re heading to the National Restaurant Association’s NRA Show, an annual trade show and convention, taking place from May 21-24 in Chicago. 

Supplying food service purveyors and commercial kitchens requires a different approach than grocery retail, where most consumers are used to seeing our produce. In this environment, we must stay abreast of food and nutritional trends, chefs’ demands, as well as changing food safety and packaging requirements.

Our newest foodservice product, Grower Pete’s Organic Living Baby Butter Lettuce, has been awarded the National Restaurant Association’s coveted Food and Beverage Innovation (FABI) award. Of the hundreds of food and beverage manufacturers that are introducing new products at the NRA show, only 26 products received FABI awards. Honorees are selected based on achievements in taste, marketability, creativity and profitability potential in foodservice operations. We’re thrilled to be showcasing FABI Award-winning Grower Pete’s Organic Living Baby Butter Lettuce in booth 10736 at the 2016 NRA Show.

Whether it’s found on a fine dining establishment or a casual cafe menu, Grower Pete’s Organic Living Baby Butter Lettuce makes for a stand-out ingredient in a variety of meals. Rich in vitamins A, C and K, this lettuce is redefining classic salads like the Cobb and Wedge to give diners more nutritionally charged options. Like other offerings from Hollandia Produce, this organic variety is hydroponically greenhouse-grown and harvested with its roots attached for longer shelf-life and turgidity.

Live Gourmet® and our certified organic Grower Pete’s brands of living lettuce and leafy greens are versatile, healthy ingredients for food service establishments and individuals alike. Whether you’re a farm-to-table proprietor, a cook in a school or you’re your family’s resident chef, you can count on our products being flavorful additions to any number of meals.

Throwback Thursday: Butter, Boston, and Bibb lettuce: What’s the Difference?

 

Grower-Pete's-Organic-Butter-Lettuce According to market research and retail data juggernaut Nielsen, sales for Butter/Boston lettuce is growing three times faster than the entire lettuce category.  Given this enthusiastic demand, we thought now might be a good time to revisit a throw-back blog post and perennial favorite since its debut in 2014:  Butter, Boston, and Bibb lettuce: What’s the Difference?

There’s no doubt these varieties look and taste alike. Ostensibly, they are the same variety known by the category moniker: Butterhead. However, there are a few distinct differences.

Bibb lettuce is a slightly darker and smaller version of the variety. It is believed to have originated in Kentucky sometime between 1865-1870 by Major John “Jack” Bibb. Around 1870, he began sharing his variety with the town’s people who coined it Bibb’s lettuce.

One notable difference between Bibb and Boston are Boston’s leaves are wider and lighter in color than Bibb’s. One would think the eponymous lettuce was first grown in the city of Boston, but there is no record of where it first emerged. Though one source notes that Boston Lettuce has been grown in Florida since the 1920s before it became a prevalent crop across North America.

Modern day Butter lettuce, like ours, seems to have originated from the old lettuce known as Silesia. This variety dates as far back as 1744, but it didn’t receive its modern Butter lettuce name until much later. A company called Slazers began selling it by the deceptive name German Butter lettuce, alluding it was a new variety to increase sales.

RootsWhile it’s difficult to corroborate the accuracy of these historical accounts, we can say for certain that Butter, Boston and Bibb lettuce can be used interchangeably, given their similar textures and flavor profiles. Possessing smooth, tender yet strong leaves, and a mild sweet flavor, Butterhead lettuce is an ideal ingredient for salads, sandwiches, soups, smoothies and wraps. And, unlike Iceberg, it’s packed with essential nutrients and vitamins, particularly A, C and K.

At Hollandia Produce, all of our living butter lettuce products, including our certified organic brand Grower Pete’s, are hydroponically greenhouse-grown and harvested with their roots intact. This promotes a clean growing environment and longer lasting freshness than field grown varieties.

Whether you call it, Butter, Boston or Bibb lettuce, we encourage you to pick up our Living Butter Lettuce at your local grocery store, and include it in your next meal. Snap a photo of your Living Butter Lettuce meal then share it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tag us @LiveGourmet.

The Top Five Wrap Recipes with our Living Butter Lettuce Varieties

 

The lettuce wrap is a versatile mealtime option whether you’re on-the-go, watching your carb intake or wishing to increase your vegetable servings. We’re here to share our top five wrap recipes, but before we reveal our favorites, read on to learn more about the secret ingredient: our Living Butter Lettuce varieties.

Screen shot 2015-04-20 at 9.15.13 PMButter lettuce proves to be a superior stand-in for a shell, pita or bread. Its crisp texture gives the right amount of crunch while its luscious, billowing leaves allow you to pile ingredients on to your heart’s content. Not to mention, it’s rich in calcium and a good source of iron, vitamins A and C.

What makes our Living Butter Lettuce and Red Butter Lettuce varieties stand out from the pack? First, all of our Living Butter Lettuce products, including our certified organic brand Grower Pete’s, are hydroponically greenhouse-grown. This method allows us to maintain a clean growing environment and minimize external factors that could otherwise affect our crops. Additionally, our products are Non-GMO Project Verified and free of pesticide residue and field debris, and packaged in clear, plastic, protective shells that function as mini greenhouses. We also package our lettuce with their roots still attached. This ensures our butter lettuce products stay fresher, longer than other varieties. 

What are you waiting for? Try your hand at a lettuce wrap recipe tonight. You can find Live Gourmet® Living Butter Lettuce at grocers nationwide, and our Living Red Butter Lettuce is now available at Albertsons and Vons.

Short Rib Lettuce Cups
Photo: halfbakedharvest.com

Live Gourmet’s Top Five Wrap Recipes

  1. For the vegan lover who doesn’t want miss out at the party – Delish Knowledge’s Buffalo Chickpea Lettuce Wrap 
  2. For your all Taco Tuesday needs – Live Gourmet’s Low-Carb Gluten Free Taco Recipe
  3. A dish for your next cocktail party – Jill Silverman Hough’s Hazelnut Shrimp Salad in Butter Lettuce Cups 
  4. A lunchtime meal that’s tasty to you and your kids – Carlsbad Craving’s Poppy Seed Chicken Fruit Salad Wrap 
  5. For the culinary adventurer – Half Baked Harvest’s Thai Short Rib Lettuce Wraps

Celebrate National Salad Month with our Living Butter Lettuce Products

 

RootsAre you curious about the origins of the lettuce you eat week after week? Consider this: the leafy vegetable originated in Egypt in 2680 B.C. Since those days, people have enjoyed a myriad of varieties, including our favorite: butter lettuce, also known as Bibb or Boston.  Known for its vibrant green hue, velvety texture and subtle sweet taste, butter lettuce has played a supporting role in many recipes, but it is in salad where lettuce is the real star.

May is National Salad Month and we’re highlighting some of America’s salad mainstays that have become integral to our dining history and foodie culture.

The Cobb Salad

As legend has it, one night in 1937 restauranteur Bob Cobb, owner of the original Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood, haphazardly threw together several ingredients he found lying around his kitchen. Cobb’s friend thought the salad was so delectable, he ordered it in the restaurant the next day. This incident marked the first of more than 4 million Cobb salads sold in the historic restaurant. Incidentally, this salad was also known under the moniker “The Derby” after the famed restaurant.

Live Gourmet's caesar salad made with butter lettuce and chickenCaesar Salad 

Much likes its Cobb counterpart, Caesar Salad has a storied past. According to foodie folk lore (though there are several versions out there) Caesar (Cesare) Cardini dreamt up the first Caesar Salad in his Tijuana establishment during Prohibition. Though the dish is often accompanied by Romaine, we encourage you to try it with butter lettuce, which is a great source for vitamins A and K.  Want to try our Butter Lettuce Caesar Salad recipe? Download it here.

The Wedge 

Though there is no record of when and where the first Wedge was served, many can attest its popularity at fashionable dinner parties in the 1960s. This simple dish, often made with iceberg lettuce, is seeing a comeback in trendy restaurants today. Traditionally prepared by chopping a head of lettuce in half and topped with blue cheese and a creamy dressing, the Wedge is now prepared in a variety of ways, like Veg Kitchen’s  Butter Lettuce Wedge with Sunflower Seed Dressing, Pears, & Tempeh Bacon. Or, check out our Wedge Salad, made with butter lettuce, candied bacon and pomegranate seeds.

This is an image of a wedge salad with avocado and steakDo you or someone you know have a signature salad recipe?  Make it with butter lettuce and enter your creation on www.lettucerecipecontest.com by July 31. You could win a $1,000 Williams-Sonoma gift card! Be sure to share your recipe on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #butterlettucecontest so your foodie friends, fans and followers can you cheer you on or join in the competition too. Happy salad month!

 

Attention Friends, Fans, and Foodies…Want to Cash in on Your Passion? Enter A Better Butter Lettuce! Recipe Contest!

A Live Gourmet Original Chef Casear SaladDo you have a signature sandwich? Do you make a salad that no one can refuse? Then it’s time for you to cash in on your cooking passion with Hollandia Produce, L.P.’s first ever recipe contest.

Here’s how you can join in the fun. Now through July 31, create and submit an original butter lettuce recipe and enter it into one of our three category competitions: Salads/Sides, Appetizers, or Main Course. We’ll award a First-, Second- and Third-Place winner from each category with a $150, $75 and $50 gift card, respectively. And, we’ll award a $1,000 Williams-Sonoma gift card for the best recipe overall.

Need inspiration to get started? Visit www.lettucerecipecontest.com and download our six, chef-created recipes each featuring a different way to prepare and savor Live Gourmet® Living Butter Lettuce. Whether you enjoy butter lettuce as a wrap, in a smoothie, on a sandwich or as Caesar, Wedge or salad, we have a delicious recipe for every occasion.

Then, when you’re ready, simply upload your recipe with a photo and the hashtag #butterlettucecontest onto the same website. A Live Gourmet original chef wrap receipeAlso, be sure to share your recipe on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter so your foodie friends, fans and followers can you cheer you on or join in the competition too!

Butter Lettuce is both smooth (hence its name) and hardy — it’s an ideal stand-in for bread, especially if you’re counting carbs. It’s also rich in antioxidants and vitamins, particularly K, which is essential for a healthy heart and strong bones. But, if you need more convincing, read why the folks of thekitchn.com love this multifaceted green.

We know there are countless ways that our living butter lettuce can be prepared, served and enjoyed. That’s why we can’t wait to discover and share your original butter lettuce recipe!

Greens Abound in Easter and Passover Meals

 

This week all over the world, families and friends will gather to celebrate Passover (April 3-11) and Easter (April 5). Cooking a special meal for your loved ones can be stressful, but with a bit of planning, you can calmly create delectable dishes that your guests will remember for years to come.

One of the Passover traditions is the Seder dinner. The word Seder means order in Hebrew, which refers to 15 rituals that are Greens dipped in salted water as part of the Seder Dinner ritualperformed during the Passover Seder meal. One of those rituals is the dipping of a green such as watercress in a dish of salt water before eating. These greens symbolize the coming of spring and suggest the perpetual renewal of life.

Food Network’s Butternut Squash and Watercress Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette
Photo: foodnetwork.com

Watercress serves as an excellent side dish to the traditional Seder brisket. Try Food Network’s Butternut Squash and Watercress Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette; it will add color and crunch to the dinner. Or, if you’re a garlic lover, try Six Burner Sue’s Wilted Watercress with Garlic Chips.

Rack of Lamb with Watercress
Cooking channel TV.com Recipes: Michael-Symon

The Christian holiday also has an abundance of symbols and rituals, one of the most popular being the lamb. In past centuries, it was considered a lucky omen to meet a lamb, especially at Easter time. Ironically, not so fortunate for the lamb, as it’s become a traditional staple of the holiday meal. We recommend this Rack of Lamb with Watercress, featured last month on our Lettuce Be Fresh Blog.

If you have little ones, you’re sure to have a visit from the Easter Bunny who may be able to sway your youngsters into eating more vegetables–at least for the holiday. Hop into the kitchen and whip up this nutritious salad that will have your children cheering for more.

Easter Bunny Salad (Originally on the Lettuce be Fresh Blog in March 2011)

(6 Servings)
• 3 cups cottage cheese
• 2 to 3 tbsp. lemon juice
• 1/4 cup raisins
• 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
• 1 tbsp. poppy seeds
• 2 granny smith apples, diced
• 1 to 2 tbsp. honey
Combine everything and chill. Serve over a bed of Living Butter Lettuce

Happy Easter and Passover from Hollandia Produce L.P.

 

 

 

Wishing you a wonderful spring holiday season from our family to yours! Share your holiday meal photos with us via Instagram and Twitter @livegourmet

A “Green” Bloody Mary and Smoked Salmon Wraps: A Healthy Twist on Two New Year’s Day Brunch Classics

It’s hard to believe another year has passed. But what better way to ring in 2015, than hosting a New Year’s brunch? To support and encourage your guests who’ve resolved to eat healthier in the New Year, here are some healthier twists to everyone’s classic brunch menu.

First, toast the New Year with this Spicy BLT “Green” Bloody Mary recipe courtesy of Heather Cristo. We suggest replacing the parsley with watercress to increase the nutritional value and to add a peppery flavor profile. Next, pair your “Green Mary” with this Smoked Salmon Mousse Wrap, which is lower in fat than most traditional brunch foods.

Spicy BLT Green Bloody Mary

Spicy-Green-BLT-Bloody-Marys
Photo courtesy of Heather Cristo

Ingredients (serves 4)

4 cups of tomatillos

2 tablespoons of parsley (or Live Gourmet® Living Upland Cress or Grower Pete’s Certified Organic Watercress)

2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar

½ cup of English Cucumber cut into chunks

Juice of 2 limes

2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce

1 jalapeno cut into quarters

2 teaspoons of horseradish

8 ounces of vodka (or amount upon preference)

Ice

A pinch of Kosher Salt (or more upon preference)

 

Garnishes

4 romaine lettuce leaf hearts (or 4 leaves Living Butter Lettuce from Live Gourmet® or Grower Pete’s Organic)

4 strips of bacon cooked crispy

Cherry tomatoes

Lemon Wedges

Directions

Combine the tomatillos, parsley (or watercress), vinegar, cucumber chunks, lime juice, Worcestershire Sauce, and the jalapeno in a blender, and blend until juice like. Once the mixture is blended well, stir in the horseradish and vodka, and then season with salt. Next, pour into four, tall glasses filled with ice and garnish with preferred lettuce leaves, bacon, tomatoes and lemon wedges.

 

Smoked Salmon Mousse in Lettuce Cups

 Butter Lettuce Recipe

Ingredients

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

6 oz. sour cream

4 ounces smoked salmon (1 store bought package)

Juice of 2 lemons

1 teaspoon of Horseradish (optional)

Several sprigs of fresh dill, or dry dill

Salt and pepper, to taste

Leaves of 1 head of Live Gourmet® Living Butter Lettuce or Grower Pete’s Organic Living Butter Lettuce

Drained capers, amount upon preference

Directions

Mix the cream cheese, sour cream, salmon, lemon juice, horseradish, dill and salt and pepper in a food processor until smooth. Next spoon the mousse into lettuce leaf cups. Sprinkle with Capers and dill sprigs. And as a bonus this spread will save and is also a delicious spread on crackers or bagels.

 

Hollandia Produce: The Best of 2014

As 2014 winds down, we’re reminded of how far we’ve come and how much further we hope go. Yet, before we rush into a whirlwind of New Year’s goals, let’s first acknowledge the seasonal milestones that our staff, customers and consumers have helped us to achieve.

Winter –Sowing the Seeds of Distinction

stacks_image_50While January is always a busy month, we started this year on a particularly high note. All of our living lettuce and living cress products became Non-GMO Project verified! With our ongoing commitment to using only all-natural ingredients in the production of our crops, whether conventional or organic, we were very pleased to receive thisWatercress and Upland Cress Named Superfoods distinction.

Additionally, our Live Gourmet Living Upland Cress and Grower Pete’s Organic Living Watercress products became Antioxidant Super Food Certified by SCS Global Services. Both products contain 127% higher antioxidant density than the USDA reported averages and high levels of magnesium, lutein, phosphorous, potassium, iron, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, B1, B6, C, E and K.

Spring – Food Safety First

In March, we demonstrated our commitment to food safety when we earned 100 percent compliance in all three key areas of our Primus GFS certification audit. These included: Food Safety Management, Good Agriculture Practices (GAP)/Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP).

salad bar dedicationThe following month, we participated in one of our most gratifying initiatives. As supporters of the United Fresh Foundation’s “Let’s Move Salad Bars to California Schools” campaign, we donated two salad bars to the Conejo Valley Unified School District. This effort helped to provide children better access to healthy lunches and, hopefully, influence their families to make healthier food choices overall and increase their intake of fruits and vegetables.

Summer — On the Road… Again

By mid-year, we were busy traversing the country as an exhibitor at some of our industry’s most important trade events, including United Fresh and the Midwest Produce Expo, both held in Chicago and, the trendsetting PMA Food Service show held in annually in Monterey, CA.

Autumn — Planning for the Future

In October, we experienced record attendance at the year’s most prominent event: The PMA Fresh Summit. Here, we gave key customers a sneak peak at new product plans, and met with a variety of companies to explore strategic partnerships and opportunities to leverage upcoming trends.

Yet, through it all, we continued to push forward on our biggest accomplishment to date: our facility expansion in Oxnard, CA. Recently, the entire Hollandia Produce staff toured the property and witnessed prolific progress being made including new grow houses and other technological innovations. It was truly an exciting day.

Thematically, 2014 could be described as the year of the “shun”, not as in exclusion, but rather the appreciation for our certification, verification, expansion, and most, importantly, the lasting impression these efforts have had on all of us as we bid farewell to another year!

Spicy Tofu Butter Lettuce Wraps for Vegan Month

Nowadays, people become vegan for many reasons. It may be as a stance against animal cruelty, to reduce their carbon footprint, or simply as a healthy lifestyle choice. While we don’t purport to be anti-meat or dairy, as you may have gathered from our previous recipe posts, we do agree that a diet filled with fruits and vegetables is extremely beneficial.

In fact, a plant-based diet is rich in vitamins and minerals, and tends to be high-fiber and low-fat. According to the American Dietetic Association, vegetarians and vegans are generally at a lower risk for developing heart disease, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and several forms of cancer. Yet, to prevent any kind of chronic disease, vegetarians and vegans, as well as meat-eaters, need to consume a well-balanced diet to stay healthy.

That’s why we’re honoring National Vegan Month with this vegan recipe from Tablespoon.com that, we believe, will please any palate.

Spicy Tofu Butter Lettuce Wrap Ingredients 

Photo by Girl Versus Dough from tablespoon.com
Photo by Girl Versus Dough from tablespoon.com

4 Tsp vegetable oil

3 Tbsp. Soy sauce

1 block (12 oz.) of extra-firm tofu, patted dry and cut into 1-inch squares

2 Tsp minced garlic

2 c. Cole slaw mix

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 or 2 inch stripes

1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger

½ Tsp red pepper flakes (can be modified to reduce or increase heat)

2 Tbsp. plum sauce

1 head Live Gourmet® Living Butter Lettuce or Grower Pete’s Organic Living Butter Lettuce

½ Tsp. Sriracha hot sauce (can be modified to reduce or increase heat)

2 thinly sliced green onions

2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

Directions

Heat two teaspoons of vegetable oil over medium heat. Add in tofu and cook for 10 minutes or until evenly browned on both sides. Next, add in one tablespoon of soy sauce and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring frequently. Remove tofu and set aside.

Next, heat remaining vegetable oil over medium heat. Add in bell peppers, Cole slaw, ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes and Sriracha sauce, upon preference. Cook for 5 – 10 minutes or until the bell peppers are slightly soft, stirring occasionally. After, add in the remaining soy sauce and heat for 3 more minutes. Fold in plum sauce and tofu and gently mix together.

Finally, remove butter lettuce leaves, rinse and pat dry. Spoon the tofu mixture into the individual leaves, and sprinkle with green onions and cilantro. Next, enjoy the healthy goodness!