Crisp­head or ice­berg let­tuces

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Country Smile -

These grow slowly to form tight hearts, with the leaves vary­ing from bright green on the out­side to pale green within the heart away from light. They are still the main va­ri­eties grown for mar­ket be­cause they pack, travel and store so well. Ice­bergs form the best heads in spring and au­tumn but tend to bolt pre­ma­turely in hot sum­mer con­di­tions. There are boltre­sis­tant va­ri­eties, although they can be prone to tip burn in the heat of sum­mer.

Loose-leaf let­tuces

The home gar­dener has ac­cess to a di­verse and ex­cit­ing ar­ray in the loose­leaf let­tuces. These fea­ture soft, tex­tured leaves, rosettes rather than hearts, and a di­verse range of colours, from but­tery yel­low to two tone reds and greens, tawny brown and ma­genta. The leaves may be deeply notched, flat, curled, crinkly, wavy or frilled and the ef­fect can be very or­na­men­tal.

Loose-leaf let­tuces are easy and fast to grow, ma­tur­ing in about 50 days, and can be picked a leaf at a time. Early pick­ing can start from 30 days at baby leaf stage, cut­ting at 8-12cm for re­growth.

Loose-leaf let­tuces are ten­der and del­i­cate in flavour. They are rea­son­ably hardy but hold bet­ter in sum­mer as young greens than as ma­ture plants. These are the main­stay of our home sup­ply and we love them.

But­ter­head (Bos­ton or Bibb) let­tuces

But­ter­head let­tuces form heads, but they are much looser than crisp­head, with a crum­pled head, soft tex­ture and a very del­i­cate flavour. While some, like But­ter­crunch, hold well in hot weather, they tend to be­come bit­ter. They typ­i­cally grow well in shorter day length and are bet­ter for spring and au­tumn plant­ing, and for green­house grow­ing in win­ter. They wilt quickly af­ter pick­ing and are rarely avail­able in shops. Most are green.

Cos or ro­maine let­tuces

These are of Mediter­ranean ori­gin, ‘ro­maine’ be­ing a deriva­tion of Ro­man, and ‘cos’ com­ing from Kos, a Greek Is­land. The ro­maine let­tuces are more up­right, form­ing tight, elon­gated hearts. These com­bine the crisp juici­ness of head let­tuces with the nu­tri­tional value of leaf let­tuce. They are pop­u­lar with chefs for cae­sar sal­ads, with their long, thick, crisp leaves and dis­tinc­tive flavour.

The larger forms are slower grow­ing. Ro­maines are good at with­stand­ing hot, dry con­di­tions. Green va­ri­eties are bet­ter for sum­mer grow­ing than red ro­maines, which tend to bolt.

This book gives you easy, stepby-step lessons on how to make your own de­li­ciously flavour­ful breads, the equip­ment you need, flour and gluten-free options, plus recipes from top ar­ti­san bread­mak­ers for cia­batta, sour­dough, baguettes, bagels and more. 100 pages All the ba­sic cheese­mak­ing pro­cesses, in­gre­di­ents and equip­ment, plus there are easy step-by-step recipes for more than 20 cheeses.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.