Lettuce is one of more popular varieties of vegetables to grow. It does well in both partial sun and full sun areas, providing you with fresh tender greens throughout the season. We like to start a few transplants early in the season at our greenhouse, then transplant out under row covers or cold frame for an especially early harvest.
Once the weather warms up a bit more, we direct seed every 2-3 weeks to ensure that we have a steady supply of lettuce throughout the season.
As much as we like eating salads and sandwiches, sometimes we have too much lettuce or can’t use everything as soon as it is ready. If you find yourself in a similar situation, here are a few things you can do with additional lettuce.
1. Have a taco night and use larger head lettuce leaves as the shell/wrapper
-just don’t pile on the fillings too high as the leaves may not be as durable as other corn/wheat based wrappers.
2. Stir fry and cook it like other greens
-cooked lettuce dramatically shrinks in size when cooked so this is an easy way to go through a lot of lettuce in a short amount of time
3. Make lettuce soup – it’s delicious either hot or cold
-add in your favourite vegetables as part of your stock base and flavour with a variety of lettuce for a refreshing soup either hot or cold
4. Lettuce sauce
-blend lettuce with cheese or cream as a dressing or marinade.
When your lettuce starts to get too old, we especially recommend cooking it in stir fries, soups or sauces. This helps to reduce or minimize any additional bitterness that arises from getting too old or stressed in the garden. How do you know when the lettuce is started to get a bit old? The easiest way to tell is to taste it, but there is another way to tell right when you harvest. If the lettuce is getting old, the stems or leaves of the plant will secrete a white milky fluid immediately upon harvesting. When the plant is more young and tender, you’ll see either a clear fluid or nothing at all after it is cut.
How do you use lettuce from your garden? Let us know in the comments.