This year I planted two different kinds of lettuce. One, a buttercrunch head lettuce and the other a ‘rocky’ mix of loose leaf lettuce.
Loose leaf lettuce was scattered seed and picked at leisure, but often to keep the leaves coming – a decent month-6 weeks of mixed ‘oak’, red, green and speckled leaves. Some of the leaves were nearly paper-thin which made them most agreeable in sandwiches. In a salad it was hard for a fork to really puncture them. Though, eating salad by hand lends a tactile punch to your lunch.
The buttercrunch head lettuce was a new endeavor. As the seeds sprouted I would thin periodically for the best-looking plants eventually allowing them about 8″ of breathing room. They didn’t exactly form heads . . . like the tight iceberg balls you’d get at the grocer, but more a tier of leaves up a heavier stalk. Not sure if this is typical or if our recent heat caused a sort of bolting. The leaves of this variety are bitter sweet – the bitterness definitely a sign of the heat and a sign that I better get picking and munching on this latest wave of harvest. The leaves are excellent in salad but I’m also excited to use the nicely-shaped, strong leaves as wrapping for beans, deli meat, etc. instead of bread, tortillas or chips.