Which side of the lettuce fence do you stand? The lettuce fence would be very wobbly and wouldn’t last long, just think of all those rabbits charging in and demolishing it! But never mind, you know I’m not being literal, don’t you….
Are you a soft and ruffled oak leaf lettuce chomper, a crisp round iceberg muncher, maybe you err on the side of baby gems or prefer to nibble on the wintry bitter taste of Radicchio, maybe a frilly Frissee tempts you, perhaps looseleaf fits your style, or is melt in your mouth butterhead your thing, or are you an upright crunchy Cos/Romaine kind of person?
Whatever your lettuce, I bet we all have a favourite way to eat, dress and prepare these leaves. Is it a splash of balsamic or a squeeze of lemon? Is it just “plain” leaves or do you chuck the contents of the fridge into the salad. Then there is the tricksy question of timing, do you start your meal with a salad, eat it during, or is your ideal to finish your meal with greens?
My what burning questions we have today on the promenade 🙂
I can’t decide if I find lettuce the easiest thing to grow or the trickiest. In the heat of summer when you crave fresh leaves and no cooking meals they have a tendency to bolt whilst in winter they can turn up their feet and suffer from frost. If I paid more attention to varieties and sowing dates I might have more answers; Eliot Coleman’s Four Season Harvest and Charles Dowding’s Salad Leaves For All Seasons are packed with information, I just never seem to manage to put their wise words into action at the right time!
The newest addition to the Promenade is a French variety Verte Maraîchère a Cos / Romaine lettuce which is perfect for cooler season growing, but seems to be doing splendidly in the dry early heat of summer on the allotment. the one thing I am trying this year is to grow lettuce with the cucumbers and radish – apparently they are prefect companions, I know they taste good on the plate together so I don’t see why they shouldn’t get on when growing.
So while the lettuce debate rages 🙂 I’ll leave you with a classic Caesar Salad. The best description I’ve ever read about how to prepare the salad comes from blogging buddy Sharyn of the Kale Chronicles, it starts “The salad that makes me set aside my food aversions is truly magical” and proceeds to tell us exactly how to prepare the salad, including the type of bowl to use. The one thing I’ve never managed to do is to crack the coddled egg directly into the salad, something squeamish in me stops me short. Maybe I don’t have enough confidence in myself to mix the egg yolk in properly or whether it’s the fact that it’s only partly cooked that stops me, but either way I cheat and crack the coddled egg into a small bowl and whisk it separately before I add it to the leaves. Oh, and I don’t use a wooden bowl…..
and to answer my own question, it’s a Romaine……..
And if it’s too late and your home-grown lettuce has bolted, you can always make lettuce soup!
For information on how to grow and save lettuce seeds here’s an article I wrote a while ago