Hand drawn image of Lettuce

Lettuce

Lactuca sativa

Crisp, hearty and refreshing, a really good salad can be a revelation. We have lettuce from our farm and grower friends in France early on and follow up with our own homegrown crops as the year progresses.

Image of Lettuce being produced

In the kitchen

Storage

Store in the fridge for 4-10 days, depending on the variety. Whole leaves attached to the lettuce last twice as long as chopped, washed leaves. Wash well before use.

Prep & Cooking tips

For salads, pull off the leaves you need, wash them well and use shredded or torn into manageable pieces. Keep the rest of the head in the fridge. Not just for salads, lettuce can be braised or griddled and adds a sweet, clean taste to soups.

Easy ideas

Tips for a good salad

1. Balance

Try for a mix of strong, peppery and mild flavours to create an interesting overall balance. Contrast a salty cheese or olives with something sweet like apples, roast peppers or tomatoes. Combat any bitter tastes with something sharp and acidic.

2. Texture

Toasted nuts, seeds or croutons will lend a crunch to proceedings. Cooked and cooled pulses and grains such as puy lentils, spelt, farro, and chickpeas will lend a bit of bite as well as bulk. Early in the season, try adding raw broad beans, asparagus and peas for extra succulence.

3. Style

Take the time to layer and place your ingredients to show off their colours, shapes and contrasts. Herbs, crumbled cheese, nuts and vibrant coloured dressings are best added at the end as a finishing flourish.

Goes well with

Olive oil
Salt
Lemon
Mustard
Blue cheese
Croutons
Peas

Lettuce recipes

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In the field

  • Meet the grower: Uni-Vert, France

    Uni-Vert a French co-operative growing a wide variety of organic fruit, veg and herbs.

    Read more

Seasonality

jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sep
oct
nov
dec

Varieties

  • Picture of Batavia

    Batavia

    The most common lettuce in France. They have a fairly crunchy texture and earthy flavour and can be either green or red in colour.

  • Picture of Butterhead

    Butterhead

    Butterhead lettuce gets its charming name from the sweet, mild flavour and tender texture of the ruffled outer leaves. Some varieties are green, and some dark red.

  • Picture of Cos/Romaine

    Cos/Romaine

    The old-fashioned Mr McGregor-style lettuce. Sweet and crunchy - the classic Caesar salad leaf.

  • Picture of Lamb's lettuce

    Lamb's lettuce

    Sometimes known as mâche, lamb's lettuce is a soft, succulent salad green with a delicately tangy flavour.

  • Picture of Little Gem

    Little Gem

    Really a mini Cos. Good shelf life and texture, plus they can be very sweet. They are good cooked, too.

  • Picture of Oakleaf

    Oakleaf

    True to its name, the leaves of this lettuce look like large oak leaves. It has a buttery texture and a sweet, mellow flavour with just a hint of nuttiness, making it a perfect match for savoury dressings.

  • Pain de sucre/Sugarloaf chicory

    The sweetest of the bitter leaf family. Balance its earthy bitterness with a balsamic dressing, or cook with ham/bacon and lots of cheese and cream.

  • Red Salanova

    Dark rosettes, with burgundy outer leaves paling to a light green heart. Their leaves are tender, with a delicate, sweet, buttery flavour – just right for refreshing salads.

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