12 Different Types of Lettuce and How to Eat Them

Different Types of Lettuce

Lettuce is an annual plant. It is from the daisy family of Asteraceae. Often, it is grown as a leaf vegetable, but sometimes for its seeds and stems.

Although lettuce is used in various foods, it is mainly used for salads. You can also grill lettuce. We will discuss the different types of lettuce in this article.

To be more precise, lettuces can be in four categories: romaine, crisphead, loose-leaf, and butterhead. A solid example of a crisphead is the iceberg lettuce.

Its head is made up of packed, crunchy leaves. However, butterhead lettuces are also round, but the leaves are looser.

They also have a smoother texture than the crisphead lettuces. The outstanding characteristics of romaine lettuce are the long leaves and thick white ribs.

Finally, loose-leaf lettuces are loosely packed, as the name implies.

Some time ago, some of these lettuces were difficult to find, but nowadays, they can easily be found in grocery stores and markets.

Below is the list of the different types of lettuce, their characteristics, and how to eat them.

Table of Contents

1. Iceberg Lettuce

The iceberg lettuce is crunchy and solid, but it doesn’t have a flavor like the other lettuce. It can be kept unwashed in the fridge for two weeks.

Iceberg lettuce lasts longer than the different types of lettuce.

Other Names

  • Igloo lettuce
  • Crisphead
  • Reine de Glace

Characteristics

  • Iceberg lettuce is crispy.
  • It is watery and refreshing.
  • Iceberg lettuce has pale-green leaves.
  • It forms in basketball-sized heads.

How To Use

Iceberg lettuce is the standard for a chopped salad. Also, it adds an excellent texture and satisfying crisp when shredded into fried fish sandwiches and subs.

2. Arugula Lettuce

Arugula lettuce is peppery lettuce that came from the Mediterranean region. It is a member of the Brassica family.

Other Names

  • Italian cress
  • Mediterranean rocket
  • Rocket
  • Rugula
  • Rugola
  • Rucola
  • Roquette

Characteristics

  • It is peppery.
  • The arugula leaf shape looks like the oakleaf lettuce.
  • The baby edges are not defined.

How To Use

Arugula can be eaten raw, in strongly enhanced plates of mixed greens, withered into pasta, cooked into a gratin, or mixed into a pesto-like spread.

3. Coral Lettuce

Lollo Bionda (light green) and Lollo Rosso (red) are the two terms used to refer to the kinds of extravagant lettuce with tight curly leaves.

They are also called coral lettuce. However, the leaves are delivered free in an entire head, delicate in taste, and bitter.

Other Names

  • Lollo Bionda
  • Lollo Rosso

Characteristics

  • They could be bright green, deep red, or speckled.
  • Coral lettuces are crispy.
  • They have a mild flavor.

How To Use

This type of lettuce will go well for a great sandwich or butter lettuce.

4. Little Gem Lettuce

This particular lettuce is one of the earliest lettuces to grow and mature. It produces small plants that are packed crispy.

Other Names

  • Sugar Cos
  • Baby gem
  • Sucrine

Characteristics

  • The leaves are crispy and sweet.
  • They resemble baby romaine.

How To Use

Little Gem Lettuce is incredible in salad, sandwiches, and wraps.

5. Mache Lettuce

Mache lettuce is a non-lettuce, leafy salad green. People who use it well may know it as different names.

Other Names

  • Field lettuce
  • Field salad
  • Corn salad
  • Fetticus

Characteristics

  • The leaves’ sizes are small.
  • They are also delicate.
  • It is slightly sweet.

How To Use

It is best kept for salads prepared on special occasions.

6. Oakleaf Lettuce

Gold, green, or red oakleaf lettuce is straightforward to grow. It needs very little space, and it is accessible to everyone.

Other Names

  • Oakleaf

Characteristics

  • Their shape is similar to the oak tree.
  • Oakleaf lettuces’ leaves are a little shorter.
  • Oakleaf lettuce leaves have a soft texture.

How To Use

It is an excellent bed for other ingredients. It won’t compete with different flavors.

7. Romaine Lettuce

Romaine lettuce is lettuce that grows in a tall head of dark green leaves. Moreover, they have strong ribs down their centers.

Other Names

  • Cos Lettuce

Characteristics

  • The rib has a bitter taste.
  • The leaf is stiff.

How To Use

It would help if you got romaine lettuce when you desire a high-quality crunch from your greens.

8. Stem Lettuce

Stem lettuce is also called Celery lettuce. It is a cultivar of lettuce grown for its leaves or thick stem. Also, it is used as a vegetable and very popular in Taiwan and China.

Other Names

  • Stalk lettuce
  • Asparagus lettuce
  • Celery lettuce
  • Wosun
  • Celtuce
  • Chinese lettuce

Characteristics

  • The leaves are edible.
  • The leaves can be bitter.
  • Stem lettuce leaves are cucumber-like.

How To Use

You can eat stem lettuce leaves with another lettuce type and slice the stalks thin. It can be eaten raw, grilled, or cooked.

9. Radicchio

This vegetable has dark reddish-purple leaves and white veins. Although it is sometimes mistaken for lettuce or red cabbage, it has a bitter taste. This taste can make a nice difference to salads and other dishes.

Other Names

  • Red Italian Chicory
  • Red chicory
  • Castlefranco
  • Chioggia

Characteristics

  • Its bright color makes it stand out.
  • This lettuce is purple.
  • It isn’t enjoyable.

How To Use

You can enjoy it alone or with other sweet lettuces. When eaten raw, it is always crispy. When cooked, the red-purple color turns brown and becomes sweet.

10. Mesclun

Mesclun is a mixture of different small salad greens, including arugula, endive, leafy lettuces, and chervil. They are from Provence, France. 

Other Names

  • Spring mix
  • Mixed baby lettuce

Characteristics

  • It is a loose mix of baby lettuce leaves.
  • It is not a specific type of lettuce.

How To Use

If you are looking for a variety, you can choose different lettuces and mix them at home.

11. Frisee Lettuce

Frisee is a frizzy salad green that belongs to the chicory family. It is known as curly endive in the United Kingdom.

Other Names

  • Curly chicory
  • Curly endive
  • Chicory endive

Characteristics

  • They are bitter.
  • Frisee lettuces have a crunchy stem.
  • Frisee is related to escarole.

How To Use

It is best enjoyed raw, or a little bit warmed.

12. Escarole Lettuce

Escarole is wide-leafed endive that resembles butterhead lettuce asides from its marginally folded, barbed leaves.

Other Names

  • Scarole
  • Broad-leaved endive
  • Batavian endive

Characteristics

  • Their leaves are prominent.
  • They are also crispy.

How To Use

Escarole lettuce is delicious when raw, cooked, or in salads. They are more delicious when prepared with beans.

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