If this is the case, try picking your lettuce right away in the early morning. Because of the small size of the leaves, trying to create a whole salad with a base of mâche can be expensive. Summer Bibb Butterhead Lettuce. For clarification's sake, types of lettuces can be generally placed in one of four categories: looseleaf, butterhead, crisphead, and romaine. Photo credit: Pixabay. How to use it: The leaves can be eaten like any other lettuce variety: raw or wilted into soups. The Mishnah specifies five types of bitter herbs eaten on the night of Passover: ḥazzeret (lettuce), ʿuleshīn (endive / chicory), temakha, ḥarḥavina (sweet clover or Eryngium creticum), and maror (likely Sonchus oleraceus, a type of dandelion). Characteristics: Endive is a type of chicory. It's best planted in early spring, because once the heat hits its growth is stunted and the leaves turn bitter. Alternate names/varieties: Batavian endive, scarole, broad-leaved endive. Of course, you can chop up brilliant magenta radicchio or its longer, leaner cousin, Treviso, to put in salads, but speckled radicchio is a real beauty. You can blanch and braise this dark leaf to tame its intense flavor, but if you like the strong taste, match it with strong acidic and/or pungent dressings. Butter lettuce is commonly available. Less likely to bolt and rarely bitter, the Butterhead lettuce varieties mature in about 55-75 days spaced similarly to the Crispheads. Characteristics: The shape of this butter lettuce's leaves are similar to that of the oak tree, thus, its name. It is related to common lettuce ( L. sativa ), and is often called wild lettuce , bitter lettuce , laitue vireuse , opium lettuce , poisonous lettuce , tall lettuce , great lettuce [3] or rakutu-karyumu-so . It stays crisp and doesn't bolt (flower) and turn bitter as easily as other lettuces, so is a favorite with summer gardeners who want to keep themselves in lettuce all season long. Why does lettuce turn bi… Arugula is also a great way to add a kick to hearty dishes like chicken with bread salad and arugula. Give it a few extra swishes in the water to get them clean. Larger leaves can be torn into bite-sized pieces when cleaning. Characteristics: Many varieties on this list, including romaine, looseleaf, and butterhead could all come with a speckled pattern on its leaves. Francesca Yorke / Getty Images. 03 of 10. Frisée is closely related to escarole. Characteristics: They have a mild flavor and are very pliable, despite the crunchy stem. Little Gems are especially delicious with thinly sliced radishes or spears of gently steamed asparagus. The bright coloring makes it stand out. Characteristics: Mesclun is not a specific type of lettuce, but rather a loose mix of tender baby lettuce leaves. See more ideas about Natural pain killers, Natural medicine, Bitter lettuce. Soon, spring passed, summer heat arrived, and gardening websites like this one are inundated with questions: Why is my lettuce bitter? In general, romaine cultivars … Mild in taste, the leaf lettuce is also like the red-tip leaf one, perfect for all kinds of salads. All rights reserved. Arugula has a peppery, pungent flavor that is an ideal contrast when mixed with milder greens. Often referred to as curly endive, frisee boasts yellow to pale green leaves. This is the most-commonly known lettuce of all varieties. Iceberg lettuce contains the vital nutrients vitamin A and potassium along with trace amounts of fiber and protein. Mizuna (aka Japanese greens, spider mustard, xue cai, kyona, potherb mustard, and California Peppergrass): This Japanese mustard green is typically sold as part of a premade salad mix but can be purchased loose at the farmers market or specialty shop. It grows wild in streams in Northern America and Europe but is easily cultivated with the right irrigation. Alternate names/varieties: Butter lettuce, Boston, bibb (limestone), Mignonette, Buttercrunch lettuce. Use cress as soon as possible, removing any yellowed or wilted leaves. How to use it: Arugula can be eaten raw, in bold-flavored salads; wilted into pasta; cooked into a gratin; or blended into a pesto-like spread. Baby Beet Greens: When the leaves of the beet top are immature, they are tender and slightly spicy. Butter Lettuce or Boston Lettuce . Grouped under a larger category of salad greens, these vegetables are most often served raw, dressed and tossed with other salad ingredients. Looseleaf lettuces go from seed to baby salads in 5 weeks, seed to salad in 7. ... and imparts a bitter flavour. The small jagged edges that make mizuna look like miniature oak leaves add a lot of texture. How long does hydroponic lettuce take to grow? The rib also gives this lettuce a slight bitter taste. How to use it: Keep these leaves whole or tear them into large pieces and toss in a salad that shows off their unique appearance. Alternate names/varieties: Butter lettuce, Boston, bibb (limestone), ... How to use it: For lovers of bitter lettuce, this essential chicory is crisp and velvety when eaten raw. Head lettuce was developed to remove the bitter taste from lettuce, but in doing so the lettuce lost most of its flavor and nutritiousness. In general, salad greens are cool weather crops, at their best in spring and early summer before high heats and long days make them bolt and turn bitter. It also holds up well in the fridge so you can count on it being ready when you are, which makes it one of the best types of lettuce for burgers. Loose Leaf Lettuce. It's also adds satisfying crisp, cool texture when shredded and stuffed into tacos, subs, and fried fish sandwiches. It is a crisp-head lettuce, meaning its leaves form a compact head as it grows—although its head is much less compact than iceberg lettuce. Sold in bunches, mature watercress has a tough, fibrous stem and small green leaves (the stems of baby watercress are generally more tender). Purslane has thick, almost spongy leaves and works well with delicate herb-laced dressings or something bright like a lemon-parsley dressing. Plus, it has a softer, less bitter, flavor than its redder cousins. The elongated leaves of romaine and its thick white rib are its outstanding physical characteristics. There are two types of leaf lettuce here based on their color: green leaf lettuce and red leaf lettuce… Since most Belgian endive is now grown indoors (it used to be grown buried in sand to keep the leaves white), it's a great option come dead of winter when you're craving that satisfying fresh-leaf crunch. For successful cultivation, lettuce requires ample water, especially in warmer weather. Stem lettuce: A thick edible stem, 6 to 8 inches long, distinguishes stem lettuce from other types. Alternate name/varieties: Batavia lettuce, leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, Redina. How to use it: Call on romaine whenever you want superior crunch from your greens or a sturdy variety that can stand up to the grill. Back to story. Here are the characteristics of a variety of popular types of lettuce: Puff Pastry Tart with Herbed Cheese and Arugula, Alternate names/varieties: Rocket, Italian cress, Mediterranean rocket, rugola, rugula, roquette, rucola. Alternate names: Field salad, lamb's lettuce, corn salad, field lettuce, fetticus. Look for both green leaf and red leaf lettuce with tender, slightly ruffled leaves, which varies from medium to dark … Characteristics: A peppery taste is characteristic of all varieties. The most common vegetables used as bitter herbs are horseradish and romaine lettuce. Instead of a generic looking and tasting salad, you can make something interesting to eat and look at. Discard the external leaves if they are damaged or wilted. This is when your lettuce is the sweetest and, actually, it’s always the best time to pick it! The bright green leaves are tart and quite lemony. Look for mixes that contain young, sweet leaves from a variety of tender lettuces—maybe a bit of curly endive for texture, some peppery watercress or arugula for bite, and a few herbs. When wilted, the veins become brighter in color and a little bit sweeter. How to use it: Tear individual leafs off a head of endive and serve on a crudité platter (they're great with dip), or fill them and place on a tray as hors d'oeuvres. Characteristics: Although Little Gem lettuce resembles baby romaine, it's actually a full grown variety. For this reason, leaf lettuce is generally more perishable than head varieties. Remember, also, to wash them thoroughly, especially before eating them raw. The crisp but tender variety also makes a great sandwich or burger lettuce. Some iceberg lettuce varieties include: Ballade, Crispino, Ithaca, Legacy, Mission, Salinas, Summertime and Sun Devil, all of which mature in 70-80 days. The hearty, flavorful varieties often have “leaf” in their names (e.g., green leaf, red leaf, and oak leaf). Characteristics: Pronounced "rah-dick-ee-yo," you can find this deep-red-purple vegetable sold either as a compact round head, as pictured above, or shaped like its relative, endive. The Spruce Eats uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Whether you're using them raw or cooked, though, different types of lettuce can add quite a bit of texture and flavor to whatever you're making. Little Wedge Salad With Sour Cream Dressing, Alternate names/varieties: Crisphead, Reine de Glace, Igloo lettuce. Another type of butter lettuce, Boston lettuce is known for its soft and sweet leaves that can serve as a great bed for salads or for lettuce cups. Romaine lettuce is hale and hearty and is the ubiquitous lettuce in a Caesar salad. Since 1995, Epicurious has been the ultimate food resource for the home cook, with daily kitchen tips, fun cooking videos, and, oh yeah, over 33,000 recipes. Once the temperatures start to rise the leaves will start tasting bitter no matter what type of lettuce you are growing. It is the most basic and common lettuce variety. Many of these salad greens are also easy to grow yourself; for seeds and seedlings, consult your local gardening supply shop or an online source such as Burpee. How to use it: Iceberg lettuce is the gold-standard for a chopped salad or wedge salad. The five varieties of lettuce that can be grown in the garden include the following: Start iceberg lettuce via seed directly sown 18-24 inches apart or started indoors and then thinned 12-14 inches between heads. Looseleaf Lettuces are colorful, easy, and fast-growing lettuce varieties. It looks and acts a bit more like "regular" lettuce with its leafier leaves and primarily green color. From a distance, one could mistake it for red leaf and green looseleaf lettuce, but a closer look will reveal differences in shape and texture: this type of lettuce has leaves that are a little shorter and more squat, and the tops of their leaves have a softer texture than their red leaf and green leaf counterparts. Tradition says that a shallot vinaigrette brings out the best in mâche. Mesclun is often dressed with a classic French vinaigrette, but it's a forgiving mix that works well with a wide range of dressings. Look for lettuce year-round in ultra-temperate climates, fall and spring in mainly temperate areas, and in the late spring through the summer months in cooler climates. The bold coloring usually indicates that the lettuce in question is an heirloom or cross-bread variety. Many growers choose leaf lettuce (Lactuca Sativa) along with the Tom Thumb variety. Far from the shrink-wrapped iceberg lettuce we all know so well—perfectly round and crunchy, almost all water, and able to last a long time after harvest—the multitude of lettuce varieties available at the grocery store and farmers markets offer a wide range of textures, colors, and flavors. 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A prime example of a crisphead is iceberg lettuce: its round head is made up of tightly packed, crunchy leaves. Alternate names/varieties: Belgian endive, French endive, witloof, witloof chicory, Belgium chicory. It has a bit more body than many lettuces and mixes well with other vegetables. As one of its other names would suggest, Batavia lettuce is more tolerant of warmer weather than many salad greens. Types of lettuce Escarole. Some might say it's stretching things to include dandelion greens here, but there are people who relish the sharp, bitter hit of raw dandelion. How to use it: Cress has a bold flavor, but delicate texture. While a popular way to eat endive is slowly and carefully braised to caramelized brown perfection, endive also adds a solid crunch to any salad, whether on its own or mixed with other greens. Want to get to know each type of salad green? It is perfect for all kinds of salads. This twisted, curly, frizzled green is endive, and has all the bright bitterness and delicious crunch that goes along with that family of greens. Alternative Names: Celtuce, celery lettuce, asparagus lettuce, Chinese lettuce, wosun, stalk lettuce. As with Batavia lettuce, there are several varieties of oak leaf lettuce—green, red, bronze—but they are all loose-leaf lettuces, meaning the leaves stay loose and attached only at the base as they grow instead of forming tight, compact heads like iceberg lettuce or cabbage. If working with small heads, use the leaves whole. Comments . The plants form open heads that allow you to harvest a few leaves at a time, or whole plants as needed. The unique oval shape, soft, satiny texture, and slight bitterness all mean it's a great addition to any salad. Purslane is often foraged; it grows wild and people pick it in meadows and parks. May 16, 2017 - Explore Brandy Bounds's board "Bitter Lettuce" on Pinterest. How to use it: Looseleaf lettuce can go wherever you want it to go. Baby tatsoi is usually sold loose, but when mature, tatsoi can be purchased whole, in the shape of a rosette, and it is often cooked intact in stir-fries. They are the green fronds from the chrysanthemum plant that grows the popular flowers, which are more commonly known as mums in some areas. Butterheads are also round, but the leaves are more loose and have a smoother texture than those of their crisphead cousins. Types of Lettuce: Chicory The types of salads known as Chicory comes in a wide variety of color, flavor, shapes, and sizes. Gardeners around the world love growing the almost countless varieties and types of lettuce. Lately, however, you will find it more and more at farmers markets and specialty stores. How to use it: The tight curls of coral lettuce are adept at trapping dressing. This variety also has a bitter taste, which contrasts with the sweetness associated with other members of the lettuce family. Use it in a sophisticated-but-simple side salads, toss them into a saucy noodle dish, or use them to top a spring pizza. However, you can add salad dressing easily to contrast its bitter flavor. Arugula. The mix might contain any number of lettuce varieties, as well as baby spinach or other baby greens. Some farms and markets sell special "spicy" mixtures that have more arugula, watercress, mizuna, and mustard leaves. The shape of an arugula leaf is similar to oakleaf lettuce, with rounded edges that undulate from broad to slight. —Lettuce cups and wraps. Like many varieties of lettuce, Batavia comes with all green or red-tinted leaves. Round Lettuce . Some examples of Romaine, Cos or Gem lettuce include Paris Island Cos, Winter Density, Lava Lamp Romaine and Pomegranate Crunch. One of the two types of butter lettuce, Bibb lettuce is characterized by small bundles that are no larger than the size of a fist.
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