purple lettuce for moderns

Forget those Memorial Day burgers, the cool kids are all eating purple lettuce.  I saw more varieties than you might imagine at the farmers market this weekend.  I love the way the burgundy gives way to green innards in this butter lettuce at Lost Creek farm, where they also featured purple romaine hearts (first image) or Horton Road Organics (second).  But if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, try some oakleaf ‘malawi’ lettuce from Wintergreen Farm:

Or, if you swing both ways, consider Organic Redneck McKenzie River Farm’s speckled lettuce.

Any purple lettuce would be delightful served simply with tiny roasted red beets (above, peeled by my able assistant) and a vinaigrette made of homemade blackberry vinegar.  Hold back, if you can, on the goat cheese, creamy dressings, or bright vegetable additions, all of which would mute the naturally gorgeous color.