When was the last time you thought about … lettuce? This popular vegetable shows up everywhere from salads to burgers to sandwiches. While you may have your regular go-to variety, there are several different types of lettuce to choose from.
Lettuce can range from green to yellow to red to purple and is generally mild-tasting. Levels of nutritional value vary, but every lettuce provides a small amount of fiber, along with vitamin A and potassium. Most types (with the exception of iceberg lettuce) also contain some vitamin C, calcium, iron, and copper.
There are five basic types of lettuce: leaf, Cos or romaine, crisphead, butterhead, and stem:
- Leaf—This fast-growing variety is popular among gardeners throughout the country. It comes in red, purple, and green, and is perfect on sandwiches or burgers or in salads.
- Cos/romaine—Like leaf lettuce, Cos or romaine lettuce works well in sandwiches and salads. Its leaves are firmer and crisper than leaf lettuce.
- Butterhead—This type of lettuce, which includes Boston and bibb varieties, can be green or yellow. Its tender leaves are smaller than other lettuces. It’s a good addition to salads.
- Crisphead—Also known as iceberg, this light green veggie is the most popular lettuce in the country. It’s used in everything from wraps to salads.
- Stem—Farmers harvest this less-popular variety for its stalk, which is often cooked or stewed.
Regardless of the type you choose, purchase fresh, crisp-looking vegetables that are free from any rot or spots. Keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat it.
So lettuce encourage you to experiment with different varieties. You may find that you have a new favorite!