Lettuce | CUESA

Ferry Plaza Farmers Market »

Sat 8am–2pm | Tue & Thu 10am–2pm


Let us (get it?) start this produce description with some surprising pieces of lettuce trivia: although known best for its leaves, the word “lettuce” is actually derived from the latin word “lac,” which refers to the milky juice in the stem of the plant. The lettuce plant is also a member of the daisy family and in ancient Egypt, it was considered an aphrodisiac. And here you thought it was just a simple filler for salads.

There are six common cultivar groups for lettuce—butterhead, Chinese lettuce, iceberg, looseleaf, romaine, and summer crisp—but hundreds of other varieties exist within each of these categories. And although lettuce leaves are typically eaten raw and cold in salads, other cuisines, including traditional Chinese dishes, cook the leaves and utilize the steams as well.

In Season

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Recipes with Lettuce

Grilled Lettuce, Carrot Soup

Nigel Slater, Greenfeast: Spring, Summer

Cogollos Asados y Frijoles Rojos (Grilled Little Gems and Red Beans)

Gabriela Cámara, My Mexico City Kitchen

Baby Gem Lettuce with Charred Eggplant Yogurt, Smacked Cucumber, and Shatta

Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley, Falastin

Little Gem Salad with Corn and Jimmy Nardello Peppers

Pam Mazzola, Prospect

Articles about Lettuce

June 04, 2010

Zen Vegetables

A former apprentice at Green Gulch Farms says working on the farm was hard, physical work, and a constant practice in reflection.   “We became intimate with our food by feeding the soil, caring for plants, and the land returned this care and effort to us with beautiful vegetables.”

January 13, 2006

Lettuce Lunch

Right now, the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is full of tasty salad ingredients. Chicories, cheeses, cresses, citrus fruits, oils, eggs, vinegars, nuts and roots all lend themselves to delicious winter salads. But by far the most favored salad ingredient, and one that can easily stand alone with a simple dressing, is Lactuca sativa - lettuce.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »