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The Finest Kinds of Lettuce: From Crisp Romaine To Buttery Oakleaf (Plus, Recipes!)

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Lettuce is an underrated vegetable. Regularly a part of the supporting solid and barely the star of a meal, it’s usually neglected for its versatility. However this nutritious, spring leafy inexperienced has loads of potential. Daily, it pads out cheeseburgers, provides additional filling to sandwiches, tacos, and wraps, and completes facet salads. Yow will discover it in chilly pasta, and it even tastes scrumptious grilled, relying on which kind you might have within the fridge. As a result of, yep, it seems, there are lots of, many several types of lettuce. Right here’s extra about this arguably underappreciated inexperienced, plus some vegan lettuce-inspired recipe inspiration to get you thru spring and summer season.

What number of several types of lettuce are there?

A leafy annual inexperienced, lettuces are available in many alternative sizes and shapes. Whereas some might be cooked (often greatest outcomes come from a barbecue), they’re often consumed uncooked. In accordance with the favored meal supply firm Good day Contemporary, there are 4 predominant forms of lettuce, and these embody romaine, crisphead, butterhead, and looseleaf. However inside every of those varieties, there are a number of subvarieties. Learn on to search out out extra about a few of the commonest (and scrumptious) forms of lettuce you could find on grocery retailer cabinets and on the farmer’s market. 

7 forms of lettuce


1 Romaine

With a protracted head and (barely bitter tasting) darkish inexperienced leaves which have agency ribs right down to the middle of the vegetable, romaine lettuce (additionally known as cos lettuce) is without doubt one of the hottest decisions for salads and sandwich fillings. You can even barbecue it, and serve drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It’s wealthy in vitamins, together with vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber.

2 Oakleaf

A wide range of butterhead lettuce, oakleaf is smooth and easy with deeply lobed leaves that look just like oak leaves. It grows a lot of the yr, and might be mild inexperienced or reddish brown in shade with a pleasantly gentle and candy, barely nutty taste. Once more, it’s a superb supply of vitamin A, in addition to vitamin C and fiber. 


3 Butterhead

Butterhead lettuce (also called Boston or bibb lettuce) has softer leaves than romaine, and it’s rounder in form, with leaves that layer over one another like a flower. It’s additionally extra of a lightweight inexperienced shade, and the style, because the title suggests, is extra buttery and fewer bitter. It’s additionally a superb supply of vitamins, together with potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin Ok.

4 Little Gem

Little Gem is similar to Romaine, but it surely’s only a lot smaller. With tightly packed, mild inexperienced leaves, the flavour is a bit of sweeter like butterhead varieties. A standard selection for garnish, little gem can be a supply of vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber.

5 Coral

A wide range of loose-leaf lettuce, coral has a gentle taste, like iceberg, however its leaves are curlier and frillier in form (therefore the title). The feel is often crisp, and whilst you can usually discover mild inexperienced shades on the cabinets, it will also be darkish inexperienced and even crimson in shade. A preferred garnish, coral lettuce is an efficient supply of vitamin A, vitamin C, and antioxidants. 


6 Iceberg

The premise of many salads, iceberg is a crisper, crunchier number of lettuce, with a comparatively gentle taste. Like butterhead, it has a lightweight inexperienced shade, and its leaves are packed tightly collectively in a spherical form. It’s not fairly as nutrient-dense as different types of lettuce, but it surely nonetheless accommodates folate and vitamin A.

7 Arugula

Okay, so it is a little little bit of a cheat as a result of arugula will not be technically a lettuce. Nevertheless it does look and behave like lettuce, and it’s usually bought proper subsequent to lettuce within the grocery retailer, so it form of counts. Additionally known as rocket, arugula has a pleasing peppery texture, and it really works fantastically in combined salads alongside buttery varieties.

What’s one of the best ways to eat lettuce?

Lettuce, in fact, actually shines in a salad, when it’s paired with completely different textures and flavors from different greens and protein. However it’s also possible to add it to sandwiches, tacos, and pasta dishes, too. Listed below are a few of our favourite methods to get pleasure from lettuce this spring.

7 vegan spring recipes with lettuce

VegNews.ChickpeaSandwichAndrea Soranidis

1 Chickpea Tuna Salad Sandwich

Chickpeas substitute tuna on this tasty (and nonetheless satisfyingly fish) sandwich. While you’ve whipped up the protein-packed filling, add in layers of butterhead lettuce for that all-important leafy texture and added vitamins.
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VegNews.WedgeSaladHealthyGirl Kitchen

2 Wedge Salad with Smoky Coconut Bacon

There aren’t many recipes the place iceberg lettuce is the primary character, however a wedge salad is one among them. It’s crispy, crunchy, and deliciously smoky, due to the addition of coconut bacon. And don’t overlook the all-important ranch dressing, too.
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VegNews.PintoPecanLettuceJackie Sobon

3 Pinto Bean & Pecan Lettuce Tacos

Large romaine leaves aren’t only a facet salad ingredient, they will also be used as a fairly useful (and nutritious) vessel to your taco filling, similar to this recipe demonstrates.
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VegNews.KaleCaesar.AshleyMaddenAshley Madden

4 Tahini Caesar Salad

When the solar comes out, among the best methods to rejoice is by whipping up a scrumptious, mild, and satisfying Caesar salad, full with crunchy romaine leaves and kale. As a substitute of croutons, why not add in some smoky chickpeas for additional protein? Vegan bacon bits are additionally a should.
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5 Chickpea Salad & Orange French dressing

Mix orange French dressing with chickpeas and romaine leaves for a tangy, recent, and flavorful lunchtime salad. In case you like issues candy, strawberries are additionally a scrumptious addition to this summertime favourite.
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VegNews.VeganEggSaladHannah Sunderani

6 Straightforward Tofu Egg Salad

In terms of vegan eggs, there’s nothing like tofu. It scrambles similar to the true factor, and you will get that signature eggy taste from kala namak salt. In case you’re having fun with this in a sandwich, layer in some leafy lettuce greens of your selection for additional taste, texture, and vitamin.
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VegNews.LemonyVegPastaJackie Sobon

7 Lemony Spring Pasta

Mix zesty lemon juice, peppery arugula, and fusilli pasta to make this tasty pasta dish, which is ideal for having fun with exterior on heat spring days. Serve when the pasta has cooled, with a refreshing glass of iced tea.
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