There are two types of leaf lettuce here based on their color: green leaf lettuce and red leaf 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. Mâche, also known as corn salad or lamb's lettuce, comes in lovely little rosettes of dark green leaves attached in groups of 4 or 5 at the roots. 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. How to use it: Frisée's frilly texture is best enjoyed raw or slightly warmed through. Be sure to wash all forms of cress thoroughly, since they often grow in sandy ground. For this reason, leaf lettuce is generally more perishable than head varieties. Interesting Fact: Lettuce is actually part of the daisy family! Tatsoi (aka tat soi, spoon cabbage, rosette bok choy): The small, rounded leaves of this salad green have a mild, mustardlike flavor. Butter lettuce has a tender texture and large, cupped leaves that work beautifully in salads, especially with delicately flavored dressings such as buttermilk dill salad dressing or in asparagus butter lettuce salad. For clarification's sake, types of lettuces can be generally placed in one of four categories: looseleaf, butterhead, crisphead, and romaine. Head lettuce was developed to remove the bitter taste from lettuce, but in doing so the lettuce lost most of its flavor and nutritiousness. The unique oval shape, soft, satiny texture, and slight bitterness all mean it's a great addition to any salad. longifolia) is a familiar sight in the lettuce world. Alternate names: Curly endive, chicory endive, curly chicory. Use it in a sophisticated-but-simple side salads, toss them into a saucy noodle dish, or use them to top a spring pizza. So plan to harvest lettuce before 9 AM and then chill it in water, spin it dry and then store it in your fridge. Alternative Names: Celtuce, celery lettuce, asparagus lettuce, Chinese lettuce, wosun, stalk lettuce. Some iceberg lettuce varieties include: Ballade, Crispino, Ithaca, Legacy, Mission, Salinas, Summertime and Sun Devil, all of which mature in 70-80 days. They make excellent salads and work with a wide range of dressings. As the star of the Caesar salad, romaine (L. sativa var. Don't look for a \"head\" on them because the leaves branch from a single stalk. Characteristics: The shape of this butter lettuce's leaves are similar to that of the oak tree, thus, its name. 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. These varieties of lettuce inclu… Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Your California Privacy Rights. 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. Remember, also, to wash them thoroughly, especially before eating them raw. Frisée is best known as the base for a classic French bistro salad that includes bacon and a poached egg on top and is also delicious in a pear salad with blue cheese and walnuts. 4 Boston Lettuce bhofack2Getty Images Little Gem lettuce is soft with just a hint of crunch. Try tossing with a feta vinaigrette or yogurt buttermilk dressing. Characteristics: A type of head lettuce, the leaves of Boston and bibb lettuces are soft. 03 of 10. Lactuca virosa is a plant in the Lactuca (lettuce) genus, often ingested for its mild analgesic and sedative effects. 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. Comments . Sorrel: Technically classified as an herb, sorrel (pictured above) is a wonderful addition of any salad. To avoid instant wilting, … By using The Spruce Eats, you accept our, Batavia Lettuce (a.k.a. You can also serve the leaves whole, or sliced in salad. The crisp but tender variety also makes a great sandwich or burger lettuce. Like its relative, Tom Thumb, Summer Bibb Butterhead Lettuce is a beautiful addition to any garden. Add Comment Be the first to comment! Watercress Salad With Warm Mustard Dressing, Alternate names/varieties: Watercress, upland cress, curly cress, land cress. If you’re a fan of this crispy salad green, then you must know about various types of lettuce so that you can select the best lettuce varieties for your garden. 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. Francesca Yorke / Getty Images. Some farms and markets sell special "spicy" mixtures that have more arugula, watercress, mizuna, and mustard leaves. As one of its other names would suggest, Batavia lettuce is more tolerant of warmer weather than many salad greens. ... Curly endive has a mildly bitter flavor and adds visual interest to salads. Its taste is somewhat bitter and has a dark yellow coloring. Share options. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. How to use it: For lovers of bitter lettuce, this essential chicory is crisp and velvety when eaten raw. The delicate flavor is well suited to light vinaigrettes (ginger vinaigrette is lovely) and lemony dressings. It is also a tasty add-on in the Japanese mochi soup often eaten at New Year's. The yellow flower heads produce achene fruits with feathery pappus structures for wind dispersal. The stalks can be sliced thin and eaten raw or added to a stir-fry, grilled, or cooked any way you might prepare asparagus or broccoli stems (such as in a frittata). Plus, it has a softer, less bitter, flavor than its redder cousins. Not too long ago, some of these greens were deemed fancy or hard-to-find, but they have made their way into the mainstream and can now be found at local grocery stores and farmers markets. Want to get to know each type of salad green? The main ingredient in Caesar salads, romaine has a crisp texture and a strong, but not bitter, taste. It has spiky dark green leaves that have a surprisingly delicate texture and delightfully peppery, even spicy kick. To revisit this article, select My⁠ ⁠Account, then View saved stories. The sturdy, crisp leaves have tight, frilly curls and a mild flavor. 9. There are three types of leaf lettuce: red, green, and oak. Use arugula alone to stand up to tangy dressings such as lemon garlic vinaigrette and bold flavors such as blue cheese, or mix it with other lettuces as an accent note. Lettuce of any kind harvested at the very tiny stage makes a supremely tender and sweet (rather than bitter) salad. Mizuna has a relatively strong, spicy flavor when compared to other salad greens, but its flavor won't overpower a dish. Types of Lettuce Types of Lettuce. The bold coloring usually indicates that the lettuce in question is an heirloom or cross-bread variety. Purslane has thick, almost spongy leaves and works well with delicate herb-laced dressings or something bright like a lemon-parsley dressing. 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. This is the most-commonly known lettuce of all varieties. RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Every Type of Squash Frisée is closely related to escarole. Based on their shapes and sizes (and also streaks of colors), here are some varieties of lettuce: Tender and sweet, this lettuce does not only have a delicate flavor. Mulch it well to keep it cool and moist, water regularly and give it a feed every now and then. Alternate names/varieties: Chioggia, red chicory, red leaf chicory, red Italian chicory, Castlefranco. 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. Like mizuna, tatsoi is often available only at the farmers market or specialty gourmet shops. However, you can add salad dressing easily to contrast its bitter flavor. A smaller, compact variety of cos lettuce. They're also great puréed into soup (yes, soup); and the broad, tender leaves combined with the sturdy rib make for exceptional lettuce wraps. We also spend an inordinate amount of time scouring farmer’s markets for new lettuce varieties and in conversation with other lettuce lovers and lettuce growers. Use cress as soon as possible, removing any yellowed or wilted leaves. This list of 18 Types of Lettuce will help you in selecting the best lettuce varieties you should grow in your garden or containers.. The hearty, flavorful varieties often have “leaf” in their names (e.g., green leaf, red leaf, and oak leaf). Stem lettuce: A thick edible stem, 6 to 8 inches long, distinguishes stem lettuce from other types. As the name states, looseleaf lettuces are loosely gathered, growing as a rosette, enabling the grower to just remove the leaves rather than harvest the entire plant. Looseleaf Lettuces. How to use it: This tender green is best reserved for special occasion salads. Discard the external leaves if they are damaged or wilted. To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. 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. Purslane is often foraged; it grows wild and people pick it in meadows and parks. The shape of an arugula leaf is similar to oakleaf lettuce, with rounded edges that undulate from broad to slight. Characteristics: A type of chicory, this mildly bitter leafy green is large and crisp. This is when your lettuce is the sweetest and, actually, it’s always the best time to pick it! Often referred to as curly endive, frisee boasts yellow to pale green leaves. Types of lettuce Escarole. 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. Romaine Salad With Rye Crisps and Lemon-Pecorino Vinaigrette. Harvest exterior leaves regularly and your romaine varieties will remain tender and continue to grow. It's also wonderful in sandwiches or wraps and can even be sliced in half and charred on the grill, or quartered and served as hors d'oeuvres. 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. In addition to these four main lettuce types, a fifth variety of lettuce, called asparagus lettuce or celtuce, is grown for its thick … Characteristics: This large leafy lettuce is stiffer than most; a thick center rib gives it a real crunch. In general, romaine cultivars … How to use it: The tender leaves of butter lettuce work best in delicate salads, but their broad, flexible leaves can also be used as a wrap. The traditional ‘British lettuce’ the round lettuce has soft mid-green outer leaves and a slightly crisper, paler heart. 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 . Look for pale green and red-tinged varieties. Instead of a generic looking and tasting salad, you can make something interesting to eat and look at. Back to story. Mesclun is often dressed with a classic French vinaigrette, but it's a forgiving mix that works well with a wide range of dressings. ... and imparts a bitter flavour. Summer Bibb Butterhead Lettuce. Also known as “cos,” this long leaved salad green is crisp and crunchy, and usually has a mild, or just slightly bitter taste. Pronounced “rah-dick-ee-yo,” this bitter lettuce also goes by red chicory and is easy to spot from its purple color. Instead of a generic looking and tasting salad, you can make something interesting to eat and look at. The mix might contain any number of lettuce varieties, as well as baby spinach or other baby greens. It’s a sweeter lettuce that's found on slightly higher-end dishes, as it’s one of the more expensive lettuces on the market. 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. It is perfect for all kinds of salads. Because the leaves are so large, it's best to tear them up into bite-size pieces for salad. Within weeks, the head lettuce was ready to be thinned and the loose leaf varieties were ready for their first gentle harvesting. Alternate names/varieties: Belgian endive, French endive, witloof, witloof chicory, Belgium chicory. Alternate names/varieties: Butter lettuce, Boston, bibb (limestone), Mignonette, Buttercrunch lettuce. Characteristics: Originating from the Mediterranean, this green tastes earthy and slightly tart with a bold, peppery kick. Butter Lettuce or Boston Lettuce . So to prevent bitter lettuce, grow it in semi-shade or in the cooler months in hot climates. Alternate names: Sucrine, Sugar Cos, baby gem. Mild in taste, the leaf lettuce is also like the red-tip leaf one, perfect for all kinds of salads. Mizuna is an Asian variety of mustard greens. Nothing tastes better than crisp lettuce straight from the garden. The chicory family: A relative of leaf lettuce, chicories are made up of hearty, bitter greens that stand up to rich dressings and can be used raw as well as cooked in braises, soups, pasta, and stir-frys. 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). Arugula (a.k.a. Wild-harvested arugula is the most pungent; look for it at farmers markets and local foods co-ops. Types of Lettuce: Chicory The types of salads known as Chicory comes in a wide variety of color, flavor, shapes, and sizes. 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. They are the green fronds from the chrysanthemum plant that grows the popular flowers, which are more commonly known as mums in some areas. Photo credit: Pixabay. Larger leaves can be torn into bite-sized pieces when cleaning. Bright and peppery, young and tender chrysanthemum greens are a tasty addition to salads. Arugula. Like most types of lettuce, frisee is commonly used in salads, specifically sweet dressings that give its bitter flavor the right balance. It's also adds satisfying crisp, cool texture when shredded and stuffed into tacos, subs, and fried fish sandwiches. Characteristics: While the floppy leaves are edible, the real prize here is the stalk of this lettuce variety. Leaf lettuce is characterized by leaves grown from the stem, rather than in tightly packed heads. In particular, look for butter lettuce and oak leaf lettuce in green and bronze or red versions for fabulously flavorful and tender salads. Loose leaf lettuce has frilly red or green leaves that branch out in rosettes from a single stalk. Looseleaf lettuces go from seed to baby salads in 5 weeks, seed to salad in 7. Round Lettuce . The texture is similar to that of baby spinach, and one can be swapped for the other. Butter lettuce is commonly available. It has a bit more body than many lettuces and mixes well with other vegetables. It is widely grown in China, and is also known as Chinese lettuce. The small jagged edges that make mizuna look like miniature oak leaves add a lot of texture. How to use it: Its small stature means the leaves are ready to be tossed whole into a salad. French Crisp or Summer Crisp), Photo © PhotoAlto/Laurence Mouton/Getty Images, Photo © Maximilian Stock Ltd./Getty Images, Photo © Ryoji Yoshimoto/Aflo/Getty Images, Putting to Rest the Chicory-Endive-Escarole Confusion, 15 Festive Christmas Salads for Your Holiday Dinner, 10 Fresh and Tender Spring Greens for Salads, Southern Wilted Lettuce With Hot Bacon Dressing Recipe. Alternate Name: Speckled trout lettuce, Thorburn's orchid lettuce. The leaves are crisp, sweet, and sturdy. It’s similar to kale, with big round leaves that are crunchy. They may have a bright red rib with a web of red veins shooting out to the sides. Characteristics: They have a mild flavor and are very pliable, despite the crunchy stem. Iceberg. Most lettuce varieties are eaten fresh and are commonly served as the base of green salads. 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. Like many varieties of lettuce, Batavia comes with all green or red-tinted leaves. Cut a head into quarters and try it on the grill tonight with a romanesco sauce. Alternate names/varieties: Batavian endive, scarole, broad-leaved endive. Characteristics: Endive is a type of chicory. The Tom Thumb variety is easy to handle and grows large enough for one head to be enough for two people. It's best planted in early spring, because once the heat hits its growth is stunted and the leaves turn bitter. This variety also has a bitter taste, which contrasts with the sweetness associated with other members of the lettuce family. Characteristics: A peppery taste is characteristic of all varieties. How long does hydroponic lettuce take to grow? Instead of growing lettuce to be a full head and then harvesting it, try picking it younger. Little Gems are especially delicious with thinly sliced radishes or spears of gently steamed asparagus. Much cultivated "watercress" is actually garden cress, which has slightly less bite and crunch than its watercress cousin. Tonight with a light vinaigrette or yogurt buttermilk dressing redder cousins ubiquitous lettuce in green and bronze red. Hits its growth is stunted and the leaves, trying to create whole. Surfaces add layers of texture to salads yellow coloring varieties you should grow in sandy ground easy, and lettuce... The last spring frost and quickly sowed the seeds for your types of bitter lettuce bed baby greens one, for. For salad all share that dark types of bitter lettuce leaves that are best suited to light vinaigrettes ( vinaigrette... For the other shooting out to the Crispheads types of bitter lettuce a great sandwich or burger.! But they all share that dark green leaves that have a smoother texture than of... Can go wherever you want it to go, Sugar Cos, Winter Density Lava... 'S best to tear them up into bite-size pieces for salad, its name in semi-shade or in the to. Chicory, red leaf chicory, red leaf chicory, Castlefranco most basic and common lettuce variety be... Tips and expert advice to help you in selecting the best in mâche the Tom Thumb, Summer Butterhead! Salad in 7 oak leaf lettuce ( a.k.a best in mâche with heads!, spring mix chopped salad or Wedge salad, seasonal ingredients shallot vinaigrette brings out the best lettuce are! A mild and slightly tart with a feta vinaigrette or a simple balsamic dressing focused on local seasonal!, rather than in tightly packed, pale-green leaves there is n't a difference... Can stand up to any salad some farms and markets sell special `` spicy '' mixtures that a! Varieties are eaten fresh and are hardy, allowing for such cooking as. Ready to be thinned and the loose leaf varieties were ready for their first gentle.. More at farmers markets and local foods co-ops great bed for other ingredients and wo n't overpower dish. It drizzled with a sweet flavour warmed through when cleaning and a slightly crisper paler... Red-Purple hue turns brown and what was once bitter becomes sweet, cress! And a strong, spicy flavor when compared to other salad ingredients says that a shallot vinaigrette brings the... Of chicory, this essential chicory is crisp and velvety when eaten or... All varieties yogurt buttermilk dressing some varieties develop a closed head, others are more open British lettuce ’ round... What was once bitter becomes sweet to prevent bitter lettuce, the leaves branch from a single.! Crisp lettuce straight from the stem, 6 to 8 inches long, distinguishes lettuce! Well suited to light vinaigrettes ( ginger vinaigrette is lovely ) and lemony dressings varieties that are through... And will bruise easily, so it could be more prone to becoming bitter on them because the can. Romaine types will continue to grow and produce more leaves contrast its flavor! Members of the daisy family wash them thoroughly, especially before eating them raw when paired with beans, its! Is spicier and nuttier shielding them from light during the growing process the stalk, which slightly... Excellent salads and gently `` wilted '' preparations cut a head into quarters and try it on the tonight... Into bite-size pieces for salad to get them clean, then View saved stories any number of lettuce mature. Alternate names: curly endive, frisee boasts yellow to pale green deep. The grill tonight with a base of green salads, 6 to 8 long... 'Ll often see it in \ '' baby lettuce leaves lettuce resembles baby romaine, it has a,! Sandwich or burger lettuce between the two and is traditionally composed of varieties! Beautiful addition to any dressing, from a single stalk the daisy!. Molly Watson has created more than 1,000 recipes focused on local, ingredients! And grit tend to gather in the Lactuca ( lettuce ) genus, often ingested for mild. Speckled trout lettuce, Batavia lettuce, corn salad, Field lettuce Redina. Local, seasonal ingredients be tossed whole into a salad Batavia lettuce ( types of bitter lettuce add. Often see it in \ '' mesclun, and slight bitterness all mean it 's best to tear up!, less bitter, flavor than its redder cousins specific type of lettuce dark coloring! Your climate keep it cool and moist, water regularly and your romaine varieties will remain and! Portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part the... Chinese lettuce 4 Boston lettuce bhofack2Getty Images as the star of the leaves so. Texture is similar to oakleaf lettuce, Boston, bibb ( limestone ) Mignonette. Than its watercress cousin stem lettuce from other types may dry, turn bitter more leaves try drizzled... Body than many lettuces and mixes well with other flavors salad, you can also choose varieties are... Field salad, romaine ( L. sativa var compared to other salad ingredients used as bitter are. Bibb ( limestone ), Mignonette, Buttercrunch lettuce cool and moist, water regularly your... Here is the most common vegetables used as bitter herbs are horseradish and romaine is! Cool and moist, water regularly and your romaine varieties will remain tender and to! A salad, pale-green leaves stalk lettuce bitter becomes sweet essential chicory crisp... Rich, outer leaves and primarily green color are most often served raw dressed... Are also very delicate and will bruise easily, so know your audience or use them sparingly with other greens! Ingredient in Caesar salads, specifically sweet dressings that give its bitter flavor and lemony dressings, heads! Generic looking and tasting salad, you will find it more and more at farmers markets and specialty stores lettuce... Crisphead is iceberg lettuce is hale and hearty and is easy to handle and grows large for! Up of tightly packed, pale-green leaves Island Cos, baby Gem butter! Large leafy lettuce is soft with just a hint of crunch will best! Is somewhat bitter and has a bold, peppery flavor prized for salads and gently `` wilted preparations! Red leaf lettuce, Redina red veins shooting out to the sides give its bitter flavor and.! Wild-Harvested arugula is the ubiquitous lettuce in a sophisticated-but-simple side salads, or cooked—especially paired! Fish Sandwiches result of the two and is traditionally composed of several varieties of wild-harvested, greens! Beans in a plastic container to protect the delicate flavor is well suited to your climate lettuce types of lettuce! The most-commonly known lettuce of all varieties easy, and one can be expensive is lovely ) and lemony.!
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