Lamb's Lettuce or Corn Salad

Lamb's Lettuce or Corn Salad

This popular winter leaf does not actually belong to the lettuce family (it is related to Fuller's teasel), but as it makes a lovely addition to salads, this seems a good place to include it. Called mache in France, it has spoon-shaped leaves and an excellent nutty flavor. As well as containing vitamins A, C and E, lettuce provides potassium, iron and calcium and traces of other minerals.

Buying and Storing - The best lettuce is that fresh from the garden. The next best thing is to buy lettuce from a farm shop or pick-your-own (although if fertilizers and pesticides are used, their flavor will be disappointing compared to the organic product). Nowadays, lettuce is frequently sold ready shredded and packed with herbs, an acceptable and convenient form of buying lettuce. Whether you buy lettuce pre-packed or from the shelf, it must be fresh.

Soil and bugs can be washed off but those with limp or yellow leaves are of no use. Eat lettuce as soon as possible after purchasing; in the meantime keep it in a cool dark place, such as the salad drawer of the fridge.

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