Lollo Rosso lettuce is small to medium in size, averaging 15-20 centimeters in diameter, and grows in a tightly compact, rosette shape. The frilly and curled, fan-shaped leaves are light green in the center and transition to a deep red maroon around the edges. Connected at a central base, the leaves do not form a head and are made up of single branches. Lollo Rosso lettuce is tender, crisp, and chewy with a sweet, slightly bitter, and nutty flavor.
Lollo Rosso lettuce is best suited for raw applications as its bright color, curly texture, and mild taste are showcased when fresh. The leaves are most popularly added to salads with other greens as the curly leaves increase the surface area and have the ability to catch and hold salad dressing. The leaves can also be used as a garnish, layered in sandwiches, torn and sprinkled over soups, or served as a bed for cooked meat. Lollo Rosso lettuce pairs well with radish, carrots, cherry tomatoes, watercress, frisee lettuce, parsley, pears, pomegranate seeds, garlic, onions, fennel, shallots, poultry, sunflower seeds, olive oil, and balsamic.
To store a full head of lettuce, wrap it in a damp paper towel and put the head inside a plastic bag. Store in the refrigerator. If you're storing individual lettuce leaves, spin them dry after washing and place them in a lettuce keeper in the fridge. A container is best to avoid bruising and bacteria buildup.