Lettuce choices for your summer salad

After spending some time at Fresh Edibles Community Farm in Stockton, I came away from my story today with a new appreciation for leafy greens. Farmer Bob Whitaker explained to me the differences between four rows of lettuce at the Mathews Road location, all of which have slightly different tastes and textures.

On the left at top is Butter leaf lettuce. It has a buttery, sweet flavor, Whitaker explained.

At top on the right is a head of Red Cross lettuce. It has a similar texture to butter leaf, but has a beautiful deep magenta hue to it. It’s chewy, but not tough.

On the bottom right is Red Oak leaf lettuce. It’s thinner and more crunchy than the butter leaf and red cross varieties. But it’s also tender off the stem.

The final photo, bottom left, is a Black Seeded Simpson lettuce. It’s a fast-growing, light lettuce that has a good crunch without being too overbearing.

Put together, the types make for a pretty layout. But they also can be combined for a stellar salad.

Not convinced? Check out the texture of a butter leaf head. Fresh and crisp.

Farmer Bob was a great resource in explaining the different types of lettuce and styles of salad. He likely doesn’t consider himself a culinary expert, but he was right on with a lot of his suggestions for creating the perfect summer salad.

His top tip was to experiment, especially with season vegetables grown locally – like the lettuce produced above.

Good advice.

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