For our Santa Barbara winter garden (yes, that’s a thing here), we decided to plant a bed of lettuces. They really took off and grew super well, and were relatively problem free to grow as we kept them caged in to protect them from any rabbits that might want a snack. We planted some Lola Rossa (a leafy, purplish red variety), Tom Thumb, and Little Gems (both leafy green varieties that form loose heads as they grow), as well as some Matador Spinach. All of these have started to mature into full heads, and the different colors of greens and reds are offering some beautiful, super fresh colors to our diets!
We planted our lettuce bed back in November, and harvested some smaller greens before the holidays to thin the beds out. We now have full heads of lettuce and will be munching on salads all week – perfect timing for detoxing from the holidays! Pictures from our garden and resulting salads are below, and I’m happy to start posting some fun salad and dressing ideas soon if that’s of interest!
An important thing to note if you are growing your own lettuce to eat – make sure you clean it super well before you eat it! Lettuce leaves have the power to trap dirt everywhere, and there is nothing worse than a gritty salad. The best method for cleaning that I’ve found is to plug the sink and fill with enough water so the lettuce will float. Separate the lettuce leaves off of the head and swirl around in the water, allowing all of the dirt to sink to the bottom. Dry by patting gently with clean towels (or using my favorite appliance – a salad spinner!) and enjoy! You’ll want to be sure your lettuce is dried off before eating, otherwise it will water down your dressing.