Friday, 26 July 2019

Iceberg Lettuce

This year I have not done very well with lettuce. Apart from a few over-wintered seedlings given to me by a friend, all my early lettuces bolted before reaching maturity. I sowed two lots of "Marvel of Four Seasons", one of "Biscia Rossa" and one of mixed hearting varieties. No luck with any of them, probably because of the cold, dry, windy weather we had in May and June.

However, I am pleased to report success with at least one variety - "Great Lakes", an Iceberg type. The seeds were ones kindly supplied to me for review by Gerry at Growseed. I only had room to plant six, because this is a big lettuce - about the size of a cabbage!

Here's one posed on a garden chair to give another impression of its size:

Of course they are a lot smaller once you strip off the outer leaves!

Even so, you're left with a lot of useable lettuce, because it's densely packed, like a ballhead cabbage.

Our favourite way of using Iceberg lettuce is to make it into a Wedge Salad. You cut the lettuce into wedges (usually half or quarter of a lettuce, depending on the size), wash it carefully to remove any grit or lurking insects, but keeping it intact rather than separated into individual leaves, then chill it in the fridge for a few hours. Then, at the appropriate moment, put the wedge into a suitable small bowl or dish and smother it with your chosen dressing. We like Blue Cheese dressing best (preferably Roquefort), and traditionally top the wedge with one or two halved cherry tomatoes. This cold crunchy salad goes beautifully with grilled steak!

Just because they don't really merit a post of their own, today I also want to show off some other recent pickings. My climbing French Beans "Cobra" have begun to deliver. I've already had two pickings of about 250g each. This variety is an old favourite, which I have been growing for many years. The pale green pods remain tender even if you let them grow very big - and they do reach an enormous size if you let them. I prefer to pick them before they reach that stage.

French bean "Cobra"

And here's another small batch of "Boltardy" beetroot. Again, I'm deliberately picking them before they get too big, because that way they are guaranteed to be tender.

1 comment:

  1. I don’t think that I’d trust a lettuce cut in half with the lurkers we find :-)


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