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       Volume I - April 23, 2010

by Patty Liston

Am I the only one who gets a bit confused by all of the choices available to us with regard to lettuce? While some lettuce leaves look like what my husband fondly refers to as “what I try to kill in our yard,” they all have their place on our plate.

However, it has helped me to know a little more about their distinct flavors, and to realize that not all lettuce is alike; in fact, some aren’t even green!

Red-tip Leaf Lettuce

Red-tip leaf lettuce has a tender, sweet, delicate flavor that makes it versatile for many types of green salads.

Leaf Lettuce

Leaf lettuce has a mild, delicate flavor and may be used interchangeably with red-tip leaf lettuce.


Radicchio is bitter and peppery-tasting when eaten alone, but small amounts add a nice accent to other greens.


Spinach has a mildly hearty flavor and is often used raw in salads.

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard has large stems with a delicate flavor similar to celery; leaves have a hearty spinach-like flavor.


Romaine has large, crisp leaves and a slightly sharp flavor that make this the classic lettuce for Caesar salad.

Curly Endive

Curly endive has a mildly bitter flavor and adds visual interest to salads.


Arugula has a peppery, pungent flavor that is an ideal contrast when mixed with milder greens.

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