Vegetable Profile: Lettuce
Lettuce is one of the most popular crops we grow. As a member of the Asteraceae, or Sunflower family, it loves our loose, well-drained soil. We love its wide variety of colors, textures, and uses! Iceberg lettuce just can’t compare to the juicy crunch and delicate flavor of each of the unique varieties that we grow. We hope you “lettuce” steal the spotlight on your plate with these delicious leaves! Types of lettuce we grow include butterhead, loose-leaf lettuce, romaine, and summer crisp varieties. We also offer a diverse array of salad mixes. Salanova lettuce was first introduced last year. We were so happy with it we decide to start growing more this year.
Lettuce with more pigment and flavor signifies more potent nutritional properties. It’s bitter-sweet flavor lends itself as a digestive aid, and its cooling nature helps tame inflammation. The white sap of mature lettuce is known to support healthy breastmilk production, and it serves as a good source of magnesium. Its high silicon content makes it an excellent tonic for the pancreas. It has a calming effect on the nervous system.
Lettuce is harvested at a young and tender stage, so it must be stored in the fridge in a water-proof container to prevent wilting. With proper storage, whole head lettuce can last for up to 5 days, while baby lettuce or salad mix will last about 3. Our lettuce is not treated with a bleach solution, nor is it irradiated, so it will not have the same shelf life as some you buy in the store. We believe the trade-off is well worth it!
The fact that we grow so much lettuce means that we have experimented with it and found that there is more than one way to eat lettuce!
Gently separate leaves from the stem (if it’s head lettuce) and rinse lettuce in a colander, and then lay in a dishtowel.
Grab up all 4 corners of the dish towel and swing the lettuce dry in a windmill motion outside (or use a salad spinner).
Chop into bite-size pieces
From there, you can either make salad, use it on a sandwich or burrito, or mix it into scrambled eggs.
Mature lettuce actually makes a very lovely sauteed green.
Follow the first 3 steps above, and simply incorporate it in a stirfry, omelet, or make a cooked green side dish with olive oil, soy sauce, and garlic added.
The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia by Rebecca Wood
Asparagus to Zucchini by Fairshare Coalition
Produce: A fruit and vegetable lover's guide by Bruce Beck
Our own experience!