Why Is Lettuce So Complicated?

Why are there so many types of lettuce?! And what is each kind good for?

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So, lettuce is part of the Asteraceae (OR Sunflower Family). This does not make sense. But it’s right. Why? No one knows. NO ONE!

2. 1. Head Lettuce


Iceberg is basic. It’s crispy and lasts in the refrigerator. It grows in a tight ball. Like…a head.

3. BUT you can do THIS with it!!

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Iceberg Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing. Cheese, bacon, and only 10 minutes? I’m down for that!

4. 2. Romaine/Cos


Leafy yet crunchy. Good refrigerator life. More flavorful than iceberg, and less sensitive to heat. Great for salads and sandwiches.

5. OR

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Cos lettuce and basil soup. A new idea for lettuce: an herbaceous concoction of basil, lettuce, creamy goodness and a couple other things. With a cook time of less than 10 minutes, it’s worth trying, right? (Yes).

6. 3. Leaf


“But isn’t it all leafy?,” NO!…well, kind of; but in lettuce terms, leaf means “loose leaf” or “cutting” lettuce. It’s the most widely planted type. It’s delicate and flavorful. Generally, the weird leafs in mixed salads get grouped in this category— from arugula to red oak and watercress.


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That’s not a bowl of salad greens, it’s LETTUCE CHIPS! Some olive oil, a little bit of seasoning, some leafy lettuce, a little bit of time, then POW. Lettuce chips.

8. And all the other types.


Okay, so there are really nine kinds of lettuce. But other than the top three, the other varieties include stem and oilseed. The former is weird and the latter is just pressed for oil. You could press your own oil from the oilseed, then brush the stem lettuce, and grill it!

9. OR….


Mix it with a couple other things and use it in a stir fry!

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