Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is a temperate annual or biennial plant of the daisy family Asteraceae. It is most often grown as a leaf vegetable. In many countries, it is typically eaten cold, raw, in salads, sandwiches, hamburgers, tacos, and in many other dishes. In some places, including China, lettuce is typically eaten cooked and use of the stem is as important as use of the leaf. Both the English name and the Latin name of the genus are ultimately derived from lac, the Latin word for “milk”, referring to the plant’s milky juice. Mild in flavour, it has been described over the centuries as a cooling counterbalance to other ingredients in a salad.
The lettuce plant has a short stem initially (a rosette growth habit), but when it gradually blooms, the stem and branches lengthens; and produces many flower heads that look like those of dandelions, but smaller. This is referred to as bolting. When grown to eat, lettuce is harvested before it bolts. Lettuce is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera.
Lettuce is a fat free, low calorie food and is good for a well balanced diet. It is a valuable source of vitamin A and folic acid. Lactucarium (or “Lettuce Opium”) is a mild opiate-like substance that is contained in all types of lettuce. Both the Romans and Egyptians took advantage of this property eating lettuce at the end of a meal to induce sleep.
Here are some of the recipes given below which contains lettuce: