The Best Lettuce: From Crispy Romaine to Petri O’Cliff (Plus Recipes!)
How many different types of lettuce?
The annual leafy green lettuce comes in many different shapes and sizes. While some can be cooked (the best results usually come from grilling), they are usually consumed raw. According to the popular meal delivery company Hello Fresh, there are four main types of lettuce, and they include lettuce, lettuce, butter and lettuce. But in each of these genres there are many subspecies. Read on to learn more about some of the most popular (and delicious) types of lettuce you can find on grocery store shelves and at the farmer’s market.
7 kinds of lettuce
With a long head and (slightly bitter tasting) dark green leaves with stiff ribs down to the center of the green, romaine lettuce (also referred to as cos lettuce) is one of the most popular choices for salads and sandwich fillings. You can also grill them and serve them with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It is rich in nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber.
2 Oak leaf
A variety of butter lettuce, the oak leaf is soft and smooth with deeply lobed leaves resembling oak leaves. It grows most of the year, and can be light green or reddish-brown in color with a pleasant, sweet, and slightly crunchy flavour. Again, it is a good source of Vitamin A as well as Vitamin C and fiber.
Butter lettuce (also known as Boston lettuce or Bibb lettuce) has softer leaves than romaine lettuce, and is round in shape, with the leaves that layer on top of each other like a flower. It is also a light green color, and the taste is, as the name suggests, more buttery and less bitter. It is also a good source of nutrients, including potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin K.
4 The jewel
Little Gem is very similar to Romaine, but much smaller. With light green leaves packed tightly together, the flavor is sweeter like the buttery varieties. Small gems are a popular choice for decoration, and they are also a source of nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber.
A variety of loose-leaf lettuce, coral has a mild flavor, like an iceberg, but its leaves are more wrinkled and crunchier in shape (hence the name). The texture is usually crisp, and while you can often find light green shades on the shelves, they can also be dark green and even red in color. Coral lettuce is a popular appetizer and is a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and antioxidants.
6 Ice mountain
The base of many salads, the Iceberg is a crunchy and crunchy variety of lettuce, with a relatively mild flavor. Like butterwort, it has a light green color, and its leaves are tightly packed in a rounded shape. It’s not quite as nutrient-dense as other types of lettuce, but it still contains folate and vitamin A.
Well, that’s kind of cheating because watercress isn’t Technically speaking lettuce. But it does look and act like lettuce, and it’s often sold next to lettuce in the grocery store, so it’s kind of important. Also called watercress, it has a pleasant peppery texture, and works beautifully in mixed salads alongside buttery varieties.
What is the best way to eat lettuce?
Lettuce, of course, really shines in a salad, when paired with different textures and flavors of other vegetables and proteins. But you can also add it to sandwiches, tacos, and pasta dishes, too. Here are some of our favorite ways to enjoy lettuce this spring.
7 vegetarian recipes from spring lettuce
1 Hummus tuna salad sandwich
Chickpeas replace tuna in this tasty (and still satisfying) sandwich. When you whip up the protein-packed filling, add layers of butter lettuce for that all-important leafy texture and added nutrients.
Healthy Girl Kitchen
2 Wedge salad with smoked coconut bacon
There aren’t many recipes in which iceberg lettuce is the main character, but the wedge salad is one of them. It’s crunchy, crunchy, and deliciously smoky, thanks to the addition of coconut bacon. And don’t forget the all-important ranch dressing, too.
3 Pinto beans and lettuce pecan tacos
Giant romaine leaves aren’t just a side ingredient for a salad, they can also be used as a useful (and nutritious) filling for a taco, just as this recipe demonstrates.
4 Tahini Caesar salad
When the sun is shining, one of the best ways to celebrate is with a delicious, light, and satisfying Caesar salad, topped with crunchy romaine leaves and kale. Instead of toast, why not add some smoked chickpeas for an extra protein boost? Vegan bacon bits are also a must.
5 Chickpea salad and orange vinegar
Combine orange vinaigrette with chickpeas and romaine leaves for a refreshing, fresh, and delicious lunch salad. If you like sweet things, strawberries are also a delicious addition to this summer favourite.
6 Tofu egg salad
When it comes to vegan eggs, there is nothing quite like tofu. It scrambles just like the real thing, and you get that signature eggy flavor from kala namak salt. If you enjoy this on a sandwich, layer in some leafy lettuce greens of your choice for extra flavor, texture, and nutrition.
7 Lemon Spring Pasta
Lime juice combines with peppery arugula and fusilli pasta to make a delicious pasta dish, perfect for enjoying outside on warm spring days. Serve when the pasta has cooled with a refreshing cup of iced tea.