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Red Oak Leaf lettuce is small to medium in size and has elongated, lobed, and loosely serrated leaves similar to those of oak leaves. The vibrant, burgundy stained leaves connect to a lighter red, central base and form a semi-tight rosette, growing upward into a loose top. The leaves are also tender, smooth, and broad with many curls and frills. Red Oak Leaf lettuce has a buttery texture and a mellow, nutty, earthy, and sweet flavor.
Red Oak Leaf lettuce is best suited for both raw and cooked applications such as braising and boiling. . When used fresh, the leaves can be torn or sliced and used as a crunchy element in a salad, layered in burgers or sandwiches, stuffed with fillings, or used as a bed for stir-fries, slow-braised meats, and grilled fish. Red Oak Leaf lettuce can also be used in summer rolls, tacos, or for low-carb wraps. When cooked, Red Oak Leaf lettuce can be braised and paired with seasonal vegetables and meats or is often incorporated into soups. Red Oak Leaf lettuce pairs well with pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, shallots, garlic, honey, cheeses such as Roquefort, and gorgonzola, red grapes, apples, oranges, pears, arugula, parsley, chervil, and carrots.
The leaves will keep up to ten days when wrapped in paper towels and stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator. It is important to store the lettuce away from fruits such as bananas, apples, and pears as they release a natural gas that causes the lettuce to wilt.