Sunday, April 11, 2010

Lettuce Has Flavor

I know, stop the presses, right?  But seriously, I can't be the only one who didn't realize that lettuce has a flavor.  A flavor all its own, not taken from dressing or other veggies you throw in the bowl with it.  Like a distinct flavor you can taste.  As it turns out, lettuce tastes green and cool and...  tangy isn't the right word, but there was almost a sharpness to it.

Yes, we had our first garden harvest today!

Our garden bounty.  I trust you are suitably impressed.

I went out on the deck with a pair of scissors and I snipped leaves from the "salad mix" and the "red leaf lettuce" window boxes.  I rinsed them in the sink.  I spun them in the spinner.  I tore them into small pieces and put them into two bowls.  The weirdest part was that this didn't seem weird at all.  It felt perfectly natural for me to go outside and grab some plant leaves out of the dirt and eat them.  Who would have thought?  (Besides, you know, like everybody in the world until about fifty years ago or so).

David grabbed a leaf-bit from one of the bowls popped a plain piece of lettuce in his mouth.  He chewed a moment and then made a face and said, "Oh, no.  It's bitter."

Then he finished chewing and looked thoughtful.  Bitter wasn't the right word at all.  "It just has a taste," he said finally.

I gave it a try and I had to agree.  At first the taste seemed unnatural.  Why this flavor, Lettuce?  How can this be?  You have no dressing to give you flavor!  What is this taste?  What?  You mean lettuce is not a bland, tasteless vehicle merely intended to transfer ranch dressing from a bowl to your mouth and give it a little crunch?

This knowledge is enough to blow my everloving mind.

We still added the usual stuff to our salads--banana peppers, a bit of shredded mozzarella, and Zia's Italian salad dressing.  And they tasted...  great.  Fresh.  Crispy.  Flavorful.

Yes, lettuce has flavor.  And it tastes good.


  1. Next you must make lettuce soup!

  2. Until I started making my own salad dressing, I never really "tasted" lettuce. I like it best the way it's supposed to be.