Lettuce - A Complete Guide

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There are dozens of varieties of lettuce at the kitchen gardenerís disposal, all offering-varying types of taste and texture from the exotic to the old fashioned English. For all the varieties however, they all fall under three types; the loose leaf (cut and come again), the round or the long lettuce.

Many consider lettuce easy to grow which, in essence, they are as long as they are looked after and protected from the start. Lettuce is prone to disease and pests, from slugs and snails to mice, birds, maggots and aphids. Mould, greenfly and leaves with holes or brown edges are all common and often difficult to prevent.
I have long believed lettuce is taken for granted in both the domestic and professional kitchen, often subjected to rough treatment, served with no seasoning or drowned in bottled salad dressing, it is only when a lettuce has been grown from seed, looked after and afforded the same respect in the kitchen that the salad leafís importance as a staple vegetable can be realised.
If you are not minded to grow your own lettuce then care should still be taken with shop bought. Check for freshness; avoid those with damaged leaves, slime or wilting. A lettuce described as crisp should be exactly that or your salad (i.e. Caesar) will suffer for it.

For further information please click on the links below:

How to Grow (including a list of varieties)

How to Cook (salads, braising and stir-frying)

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