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8 lettuce varieties to grow

Homegrown lettuces bring beauty to the eye and the palate. Try out new varieties and recipes with these eight lettuces.
  • Homegrown lettuce

    Lettuce you grow at home is in a league all its own. Fresher and more flavorful than supermarket varieties, homegrown lettuce opens up a new world of tastefull opportunities. Even in a limited plot of ground, you can soon be enjoying trying luxurious lettuce.

    Lettuce can be planted from seed in early spring, either started in small pots indoors or sown directly in the garden. They can be plabted again in late summer or early fall, when daytime temperatures are in the 60s or 70s. Here a few lettuces to try:

    Romaine: These heavy heads of tall, upright, broadly oblong leaves clustered around thick, juicy, full-flavor hearts are sweet and crunchy with lots of substance. Use romaines for whole-meal salads when you want leaves with juicy crunch and substance, to pair with cubed or sliced cooked meats, cheeses or nuts. Romain holds up well under heavy, creamy dressings.

    Botavian: A European type especially popular in France, this luscious class of lettuces isn’t often seen in the United States. Mature heads are dense, heavy rosettes of crispy leaves with an open, butterheadlike shape. Batavian lettuce is resistant to bolting in hot weather. Wonderful for salads and sandwiches, it can also be shredded for tacos or combined with citrus fruits, strawberries, sweet onions, avocados, or cooked shrimp.

    Butterhead: Called butterhead, Bibb, Boston, or limestone lettuce (names vary in different areas), these softly folded, smooth-leaved, light green rosettes are becoming increasingly popular. Some butterheads form loose, open rosettes, and others develop tighter, semisolid heads with undulating leaves prized for their rich texture and flavor. Don’t overwhelm their delicacy with heavy commercial dressings; a simple homemade vinaigrette blended from olive oil and mild rice vinegar works best. Butterheads pair perfectly with soft cheeses and toasted nuts.

    Continue on to see 8 lettuce varieties worth growing on your land. 

    Date Published: March 28, 2019
    Date Updated: March 28, 2019
  • 'Queen of crunch' crisphead

    ‘Queen of Crunch’ is heat-tolerant and matures into attractive heavy rosettes.

    Date Published: March 28, 2019
    Date Updated: March 28, 2019
  • Red and green romaines

    Pick red and green romaines at baby sizes or let them grow into dense, heavy heads

    Date Published: March 28, 2019
    Date Updated: March 28, 2019
  • 'Ruby gem' baby romaine

    ‘Ruby Gem’ is a short romaine with deep red leaves above a green heart.

    Date Published: March 28, 2019
    Date Updated: March 28, 2019
  • 'Rhapsody' butterhead

    ‘Rhapsody’ butterhead has a satiny texture and rich buttery taste.

    Date Published: March 28, 2019
    Date Updated: March 28, 2019
  • Red deer tongue

    The long pointed leaves of ‘Red Deer Tongue’ grow outward and upward to form loose heads

    Date Published: March 28, 2019
    Date Updated: March 28, 2019
  • Batavian 'nevada'

    Also known as French 'Cardinale' and 'Dutch Redina,' Batavian 'Nevada' have good heat tolerance.

    Date Published: March 28, 2019
    Date Updated: March 28, 2019
  • Flashy trout back

    Pick just the outer leaves of ‘Flashy Trout Back’ as it grows, or cut it as a head.

    Date Published: March 28, 2019
    Date Updated: March 28, 2019
  • Merveille de quatre saisons

    ‘Merveille de Quatre Saisons’ is a centuries-old French heirloom Bibb lettuce.

    Date Published: March 28, 2019
    Date Updated: March 28, 2019
  • Butterhead lettuce with fresh raspberry merlot dressing

    Start to Finish: 20 minutes

    Servings: 4

    Ingredients:

    1½ cups fresh raspberries or frozen raspberries, thawed and drained
    ½ cup Merlot wine
    3 Tbsp. olive oil
    3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
    3 Tbsp. sour cream
    2 Tbsp. good-quality raspberry vinegar
    1 Tbsp. honey
    1 medium shallot, minced
    1 large clove garlic, minced
    1 tsp. Dijon mustard
    ¼ tsp. salt
    1¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    1 large head butterhead lettuce (Bibb or Boston)
    2 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives and/or parsley
    ½ cup fresh raspberries
    ⅓ cup toasted pecan pieces

    Directions:

    1. For dressing, in a food processor or blender combine the 1½ cups raspberries, the wine, oils, sour cream, vinegar, honey, shallot, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper. Cover and process until well blended. Taste and add more honey as desired.
    2. Cut lettuce head into wedges; arrange on plates. Sprinkle chives and/or parsley over lettuce. Drizzle with dressing.* Sprinkle with the ½ cup fresh raspberries and the pecans.

    Tip: Store remaining dressing in an airtight container up to 3 days.

    Per Serving: 49 cal., 12 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 1 mg chol., 46 mg sodium, 8 g carb., 4 g fiber, 4 g sugars, 2 g protein.

    Date Published: March 28, 2019
    Date Updated: March 28, 2019

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