Deb’s Lettuce Tasting 2010

What is a girl to do to celebrate the second day of June?  The last day of school, and a tropical rain instead of an arctic rain? Yes, it is true, we can tell the difference. It’s a Tuesday so a wine tasting is out. This is Washington state so there is no chance of a tomato tasting. What I can have is a lettuce tasting. OK, I’m on my own here, so this is totally subjective. But here it is, Deb’s first, possibly annual lettuce tasting .
 
I have three named lettuces for this tasting. Australian Yellowleaf, Grandpa Admire’s, and Flashy Trout’s Back. All of them are heirloom and all are from Uprising Seeds in Bellingham, Washington (www.uprisingorganics.com)

Australian Yellowleaf (heirloom): large chartreuse looseleaf.

 Australian Yellowleaf: Buttery is the word that comes to mind. I have heard different lettuces described as buttery before, but I always thought that it had to do with the mouth feel, not the taste. I tried each of these as micro-greens, and as a micro-green I was unimpressed. As a baby lettuce it has this almost creamy taste with a crisp lettuce mouth feel. No bitterness at all as a fresh picked late spring green.

Grandpa Admire's (ARK heirloom) red tipped loose head/loose leaf as baby

 Grandpa A’s lettuce was wonderful as a micro-green. As a baby lettuce it is refreshing. It has the mouth feel of a butter head but the crisp, refreshing taste of romaine. So refreshing, I am almost tempted to juice it. It does not assert itself but instead makes a lovely back note for whatever is served with it. On a sandwich it provides the finish I want against the protein and dressing. I think I will choose this lettuce to put on a hamburger if the weather breaks long enough to fire up the BBQ.

Flashy Trout's Back (heirloom) red speckled Cos

Flashy Trout’s Back has been the unexpected treasure of this gardening season. I started a square of it (I am a square-foot-gardener) with my peas in February and am still harvesting leaves from that square. As a micro green and as a baby lettuce it has a nutty sweetness that I adore. This is a lettuce that needs only a bit of olive oil and lemon juice seasoned with a grind of Salt and pepper. As a mature lettuce it is not as crisp as Grandpa A’s but still holds the nutty sweetness that originally caught my attention. The fine folks at Uprising Seeds are saying that this one will hold up in summer heat. I’ll let you know if ever we get any summer heat.

Deborah …..getting dirty in Everett, Washington

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3 Comments

Filed under Everyday Adventure, Fresh from the garden

3 responses to “Deb’s Lettuce Tasting 2010

  1. Hello, Deb!

    I love the photos and the commentary – and I think I will have to try all three of these!

    You are a joy!

  2. I love this idea! It made me pull out my chart so I could remember which types of lettuce I planted. They are definitely ready for us to start eating them!

  3. This is great! I grew arugula in my SFG last year and hated it. You’ve inspired me to try some other stuff.

    I like your writing style. Wish I could figure out how to become a fan of wordpress blogs and have them come up in my blogspot list of blogs.

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