A generation ago, lettuce primarily meant round heads of iceberg.
These days, there are more options available at the supermarket, including long-leaved, crisp varieties, such as romaine; soft, tender butter varieties, such as bibb and Boston; and loose-leaved varieties, such as red and green leaf.
Although arugula and other baby greens aren't botanically classified as lettuces, their spicy flavor adds pizzazz to many packaged salad mixes. Besides being low in calories, most salad greens are also rich in vitamin C, beta carotene, folate and calcium.
Having different kinds of lettuce on hand allows you to customize your salad mix. Try using wide, round Boston or bibb leaves as cups for cooked meat or chicken, or as wraps for sandwich fillings.
Grilling, braising and other cooking methods intensify the sweetness of lettuces, turning them from salad to side dish.
Everyday Food magazine offers quick, healthy solutions for everyday meals -- from the kitchens of Martha Stewart Living. For more recipes and additional tips, visit www.marthastewart.com/everydayfood.