Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Friday, 25 October 2013

Salad Days: Lattughino verde


As my salad challenge is Mastering Lettuce this year, I was surprised to find a completely new form (to me anyway) at the Yeo Valley Organic Garden recently. This is 'Lattughino verde', which looks more like a giant wild rocket than a lettuce. Its flavour is mild, so it's one for adding bulk and visual appeal to a salad.

Most of the online information - unsurprisingly - is in Italian, but I have managed to find it in the Organic Gardening catalogue. They've put it in the loose leaf category and describe it as 'an Italian finger lettuce'. They have another of this type which looks tempting called 'Catalogna'. It's described as 'slow to bolt, hardy and quick regrowing' - sounds like an excellent candidate for the picking method.

I've added both varieties to my list of new leaves to try for next year along with the 'easy watercress' (aka Cardamine raphanifoliaEmma Cooper found at the Edulis nursery last weekend. She says it's a good alternative to the American land cress I usually grow. It's a shade loving perennial which starts back into leaf around now - I have just the spot in my garden calling out for this. Let's not forget the Siberian purslane Mark Diacono also mentioned in his talk recently.

It's reassuring to find there's still lots to learn and try after nearly two years of my 52 Week Salad Challenge. What salad plans are you making for next year?

If you've written a salad-related post this month, then add the URL of your post (not your blog) to Mr Linky below.

16 comments:

  1. What a shame that my mum is not online as she would have willingly translated for you :) I've only got limited knowledge but the spelling surprises me as lettuce is usually lattuga. It looks most attractive. I've finally got my act together to produce a salad related post of sorts this month. As for next year I'll be working on the masterplan once the clocks go back.

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    1. Hi Anna - I think -ino added to the end of Italian words is a diminutive form? If that's the case then lettuce must get very large in Italy!

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    2. Yes you are right VP but it's the h that's intriguing. Must ask mama when we speak next :)

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  2. I've grown lettuce that looks like that but it was in a packet of mixed varieties so I've no idea what it was. I think that there was also a red one. Flighty xx

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    1. Hi Flighty - sounds like that was a very upmarket salad mix, can you remember which one it was?

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    2. On reflection I may well have been given some seed by one of my Italian plot neighbours. Flighty xx

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    3. Ooh I hope it was Flighty - I'm hoping to swap seed with my Nepalese plot neighbour next year :)

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  3. My salad growing was an epic fail this year. I just didn't sow much, no idea why. Must try harder. You have reminded me how good cress is. I've got a packet of Greek (I think) cress, which was lovely. There's so much variety, and no excuse for buying the ordinary stuff. I do have enough seeds to last a very long time I think!

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    1. Hi CJ - yes Greek dres. Is certainly worth it. Must remember to sort mine out of the seed tin next year :)

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    2. Hmm dres = cress, getting to grips with a tablet keyboard is proving a tad tricky!

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Like CJ I haven't put much effort into growing salad this year - I've had a few lettuces on the go but nothing compared to the splendiferous vision in my head in the spring! I like the look of that Italian lettuce and pleased to read about Emma's cress, definitely worth following up on! And next year I'm definitely going to try harder!

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    1. Ah yes Caro, the vision in our heads is always rather splendid! I managed a lot better this year, but perfection is still a long way off ;)

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  5. That is very pretty - nicely compact with plenty of leaves.
    Thanks for hosting Salad Days!
    Happy Gardening!
    Lea
    Mississippi, USA

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    1. Thanks for your contribution Lea :)

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  6. 26/4/2016 - Ann Martha Rowan used my contact form to say the following:

    I don't know how to join the blog, but just wanted to say, if someone hasn't said it already, that lattughino verde and moroccan cress seem to me to be pretty well identical, a least at the seedling stage. The only difference is that the seeds of the former are white, and the cress seeds brown. A woman who posted a photograph of the cress gave its name as lactuca sativa. The seedlings are still too small to do a tasting comparison, but I am afraid that growing both in a small garden is a bit of a waste of space.

    My reply:

    Thanks for taking the trouble to contact me using my blog's form.

    If it is Lactuca sativa [referring to Moroccan Cress], then that makes it a lettuce.

    I see the Organic Gardening Catalogue lists it under their cress section, but their blurry photo looks like it should be in the lettuce section. It looks like they've been confused by the name.

    I discovered lettuce seeds can be brown or white depending on variety when I trialled a number of them.

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