Lettuce
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Scientific Classification

Kingdom:
Plantae
(unranked):
Angiosperms
(unranked):
Eudicots
(unranked):
Asterids
Order:
Asterales
Family:
Asteraceae
Genus:
Lactuca
Species:
L. sativa
Binomial name
Lactuca sativa
L.
About
Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is a temperate annual or biennial plant of the daisy family Asteraceae. It is most often grown as a leaf vegetable. Both the English name and the Latin name of the genus are ultimately derived from lac, the Latin word for “milk”,[2] referring to the plant’s milky juice. Mild in flavour, it has been described over the centuries as a cooling counterbalance to other ingredients in a salad.[3]
The lettuce plant has a short stem initially (a rosette growth habit), but when it gradually blooms, the stem and branches lengthens; and produces many flower heads that look like those of dandelions, but smaller. This is referred to as bolting. When grown to eat, lettuce is harvested before it bolts. Lettuce is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera.
Nutritional Value
Lettuce (butterhead)
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy
55 kJ (13 kcal)
Carbohydrates
2.2 g
Dietary fiber
1.1 g
Fat
0.2 g
Protein
1.4 g
Water
96 g
Vitamin A equiv.
166 μg (18%)
Folate (Vit. B9)
73 μg (18%)
Vitamin C
4 mg (7%)
Vitamin K
24 μg (23%)
Iron
1.2 mg (10%)
Vit. K[1] Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database
Growing
Lettuce is grown commercially worldwide, hardy to Zone 6,[4] requiring light, sandy, humus rich, moist soil.[4] Dry conditions can cause the plants to go to seed (known as bolting). It is normally grown by early and late sowing in sunny positions, or summer crops in shade[4].
There are six commonly recognised Cultivar Groups of lettuce which are ordered here by head formation and leaf structure; there are hundreds of cultivars of lettuce selected for leaf shape and colour, as well as extended field and shelf life, within each of these Cultivar Groups:
Butterhead (L. sativa var. capitata) forms loose heads. Its leaves have a buttery texture. Butterhead cultivars are most popular in Europe. Popular varieties include Boston, Bibb, Buttercrunch, and Tom Thumb.
Chinese lettuce (L. sativa var. asparagina) types generally have long, sword-shaped, non-head-forming leaves, with a bitter and robust flavour unlike Western types, for use in stir-fried dishes and stews. Chinese lettuce cultivars are divided into “stem-use” types (called celtuce in English), and “leaf-use” types such as youmaicai.
Crisphead, also called Iceberg, forms tight, dense heads that resemble cabbage. They are generally the mildest of the lettuces, valued more for their crunchy texture than for flavour. Cultivars of iceberg lettuce are the most familiar lettuces in the USA. The name Iceberg refers to the crisp, cold, clean characteristics of the leaves.
Looseleaf (L. sativa var. crispa) has tender, delicate, and mildly flavoured leaves. This group includes oak leaf and lollo rosso lettuces.
Romaine (L. sativa var. romana), also called Cos, grows in a long head of sturdy leaves with a firm rib down the center. Unlike most lettuces, it is tolerant of heat.
Summer Crisp, also called Batavian, forms moderately dense heads with a crunchy texture. This type is intermediate between iceberg and looseleaf types.

Recipes

Asian Vinaigrette Salad w/ Sesame Tuna or Chicken or Tofu [serves 4]
Submitted by Melanie Lorenz
Salad
Arugula [torn] 1 cup +
Carrot [shredded] 2 large carrots
Cucumber [diced] 1 large
Lettuce [torn] 1 cup +
Peppers, Red [julienne] 1
Radish [sliced] 4 or so
Spinach [torn] 1 cup +
Spring Onions [Green] [chopped] 4 or so
Garnish
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
Dressing
Chopped cilantro
Juice of one lime
2 T sesame oil, separated in 1/2, 1/2 reserved for protein
1/2 c canola oil
1/2 c rice wine vinegar
pinch of freshly grated ginger
2 t brown sugar
1 T spicy mustard
2 pinches of garlic powder
salt/pepper to taste
1 T soy sauce
To make the dressing mix all ingredients EXCEPT oil, once everything is mixed add oil, and stir vigorously to emulsify, add seasoning to taste, I like to add red pepper flakes for a bit of spice!
Protein
4 [4-6 oz] chicken breast filets, OR tuna steaks, OR firm tofu slabs/chunks
Sesame Seeds [toasted or black]
Brush protein with sesame oil, salt and pepper, and roll in sesame seeds. [Tofu, you may want to just sprinkle seeds on salad later, up to you.]
Spray a pan with non cook spray and cook on medium heat until desired done-ness.
Layer the salad vegetables, add the protein and garnish, stir dressing again, and pour over a couple tablespoons