Iceberg lettuce is medium to large in size, averaging 25-30 centimeters in diameter, and is spherical in shape, similar to cabbage. The firm head is tightly packed with broad, thick, and crisp leaves that are concentrated with a high-water content. The leaves vary in color depending on the particular cultivar, but the outer leaves are typically light green while the inner leaves range from pale yellow to a translucent white. Iceberg lettuce is crunchy and juicy with a mild, sweet flavor.
Iceberg lettuce is available year-round.
Iceberg lettuce is best suited for both raw and cooked applications such as braising and stir-frying. It is most well-known for its use in a cold wedge salad with Roquefort or blue cheese dressings, but it can also be shredded as a garnish, layered in sandwiches, used as a lettuce cup for fillings such as taco meat, shrimp, or chicken, or used to wrap burgers for a low-carb main dish. When cooked, Iceberg lettuce can be lightly braised or chopped and sauteed into a stir-fry, used similarly to cabbage. Iceberg lettuce pairs well with herbs such as basil, mint, and flat leaf parsley, lemon, honey, tomatoes, shallots, green onions, chives, hard-boiled eggs, bacon, pork, fish, shrimp, grilled chicken, and a classic vinaigrette of olive oil, dried herbs, and cider vinegar. The leaves will keep over a week when stored wrapped in a damp paper towel in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.