Friday Focus: Lettuce

In honour of my most successful crop this year, this week’s blog will focus on the humble lettuce.
I am very fortunate to have an allotment and to be able to grow my own vegetables – not always successfully, I must admit, but I am learning all the time J
Before the allotment, I even used to grow “cut-and-come-again” lettuce in big pots in my backyard so I’d have a supply throughout the summer. This year, for a change, I planted little gems and I was rewarded by a plentiful crop. As I am harvesting it, I am re-planting some mixed leaves seeds to carry on getting lettuce for the rest of the summer. If you are new to gardening, lettuce is a very good vegetable to start with: it grows easily, with very little care but you must make sure to keep the slugs away from it!
 


 

 

Lettuce has a high potassium content, which makes it a mild diuretic, while its chlorophyll helps detoxify the blood and liver. Other nutrients in lettuce include folic acid (important to prevent birth defects) and beta carotene and vitamin C, two antioxidants which help boost the immune system.
Studies have also shown that, thanks to its vitamin K content, older women who eat lettuce every day have half as many hip fractures as those who eat it less than once a week.
The lettuce contains many minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc, which all help generate energy. It also contains a natural sedative that relaxes the nervous system and induces sleep, so a big mixed salad with plenty of lettuce is a perfect choice for your supper.
 
This week, I am not sharing a recipe but I am hoping to inspire you with several ideas for delicious and colourful mixed salads. All these are salads I prepared and ate last week, following a huge harvest of my little gems. I hope the warmer weather will entice you to try those combinations… After all, salads do not have to be boring J
(For salad dressing recipes, please follow this link:
 
1-      Mixed salad with lettuce, peas, green beans, pancetta cubes and grated parmesan (served with French dressing)
2-      Mixed salad with roasted carrots, walnuts and feta cheese (served with a balsamic vinegar dressing) – this recipe was inspired by the Warm Salad of Roasted Carrots in Harry Eastwood’s A Salad for All Seasons.
3-      Mixed salad with lettuce, avocado and roasted sweet potato “croutons” (served with a French dressing)
4-      Mixed salad with lettuce, cucumber and feta cheese (served with a French dressing)
5-      Chicken Cesar salad with sweet potato “croutons”
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