Lettuce

 

If you’re planning to go away over Xmas camping, on a boat, to a bach …. take your own lettuce for lovely fresh salads while you’re away. If you get a bucket (punch a few drainage holes in base), or a plastic plant pot, fill with potting mix & plant lettuce seed or seedlings, you will have a supply of edible lettuce very quickly. Take more than 1 bucket if you have more people to feed. Originally from the Mediterranean, there are many different varieties available but mainly divided into 2 groups – ‘Head ‘ lettuces which have firm tightly packed head with a central core & crisp leaves. The other group are ‘Leafy’ lettuces which have a smaller or no core, leaves can be picked individually and are softer & looser. The leafy types eg buttercrunch, oak & coral are ideal for the bucket so you can pick individual leaves as you require them without waste.

Some of our popular varieties:

Iceberg – a ‘head’ type. The leaves are crunchy and have a mild flavour. The outer leaves are a darker green; the central leaves are pale green. The leaves are cupped, hold their shape and can be used to hold fillings.

Cosberg – A cross between iceberg and a cos lettuce, it has boat-shaped leaves and the taste of iceberg with a hint of Christmas green peas. Its crunchy texture is suited to salads. This lettuce holds its shape when heated making it possible to serve the cupped leaves filled with hot foods. They are also a good wrapping leaf.

Butterhead or Buttercrunch – ‘leafy’ type. It has a soft texture and flat smooth succulent leaves which have a delicate buttery feel and flavour. Some varieties have heart-shaped leaves while others are more rounded. Red buttercrunch or red butterhead are also available.

Red or Green Oak – ‘leafy’ type. They have sweet tasting soft green-red or red leaf which can be picked separately as these lettuces are often sold with intact roots.

Red or Green Coral – ‘leafy’ type. These lettuces have attractive crinkly leaves that stand up on a plate. They have a sharp, slightly bitter flavour. The depth of red or green colour depends on the variety and the season.

Cos – This is a winter lettuce also known as romaine. It has an elongated head with coarse leaves that are crunchy and sharp in flavour. This lettuce is a key ingredient of Caesar salad.