The Lactuca sativa , which probably sounds more like the name of lettuce, vegetables is one of the most cultivated and consumed worldwide. The Mediterranean diet includes it in practically all its salads and in a large number of dishes, and the enormous variety of varieties that this plant has makes it possible to consume it throughout the year and in many different ways, whether it is fresh salads, garnishes or cooked in more elaborate dishes.
In this article we are going to see some of the 14 varieties or types of lettuce that are mainly there to, in this simple way, better understand this vegetable that has earned the title of queen of salads.
Lollo rosso or red leaf lettuce
The variety lollo rosso or red leaf lettuce is native to Italy and stands out for its leaves with reddish ends and very curly. It has a somewhat bitter taste, and the best time of year to consume it are the months after the summer.
Endive can show smooth or curly leaves depending on the specific variety, but it always has a spicy flavor with bitter touches that makes it very characteristic. The central leaves are lighter in color and less bitter. Its best time is winter.
Red oak leaf lettuce
Among the most common types of lettuce on the tables today we also find red oak leaf lettuce . It has leaves with shades that go from purple to green, it is a variety of very curly leaves and a flavor that tends to be sweet. It is appreciated for its tender texture, and its best months are between March and June.
Also called trocadero lettuce , the French lettuce variety shows long and very green leaves, thin and with a sweet and smooth flavor. It is recommended to consume it in spring, since it is undoubtedly its best time. Actually, it is very common to find it in salads, both from just this variety and in dishes with various types of lettuce .
The iceberg lettuce , very common to find in supermarkets, is shaped like a compact sphere. It gets its name from its resistance to cold, and it is widely used as a garnish for all kinds of dishes due to its mild flavor .
It is also known as donkey ear or Spanish lettuce . The leaves of romaine lettuce are elongated with a clearly distinguishable midrib. It is also one of the most widely used lettuces and, in addition, it is the variety with the highest nutritional value. Its best time is summer.
Romaine lettuce bud
This variety is similar to romaine lettuce, although smaller. The romaine lettuce bud leaves are shorter and more curly, and it is remarkably mild in flavor. It is grown in the Netherlands and its best time is between the end of summer and the beginning of autumn.
The tatsoi lettuce is native to Asia, this variety can be hard to find alone in many businesses, it is more common to see it in bags of mixed lettuce. Its leaves are dark green and its intense flavor makes it popular in mixes with other milder-flavored lettuces.
Red chard lettuce
The lettuce red chard is garnet stem and leaves of deep green, although there are other varieties is that the green leaf is shared but changes the striking tone of the trunk and nerves, which can be red, pink or fuchsia or yellows. It is consumed both raw and cooked, and its intense flavor makes it very characteristic. It is quite slow growing compared to other varieties.
Another type of lettuce is the variety known as batavia lettuce , which is similar to French lettuce, it has light green leaves, curled and fleshy in texture, they are very crunchy leaves. It has different varieties in turn, one of them with darker red leaves at its outer end.
Arugula is a variety of lettuce from the Mediterranean area. It has an intense flavor with bitter and spicy touches, and is grown throughout the year, although its harvest must be done before flowering.
Also known as field lettuce , it has very small leaves and is consumed mainly in Europe. It has a smooth and fresh flavor, and rich nutritional properties. The season for lamb ‘s lettuce is between autumn and spring.
With hard and rigid white leaves, this lettuce stands out for its sweet and bitter taste. The endive that is marketed is only the heart of the plant, hence its pointed bullet shape and tight leaves. Its best season is from fall to spring.
This Italian variety known as radicchio with completely red leaves except for its white veins finds its best season in winter, although it is grown and consumed throughout the year. Its flavor is bitter , although it loses part of this characteristic when cooked. They are almost always grown using the bleaching technique, in order to attenuate to some extent the natural bitterness of their leaves.
To finish, if you love eating fresh lettuce in your salads and you want to opt for organic to make it as healthy as possible, we recommend that you encourage yourself to grow it at home, you will see how easy it is!