SCIENTIFIC NAME

Lactuca sativa

CLASSIFICATION

Vegetable

SEASON

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

About

There is a war going on, right now, about lettuce! There are the traditionalists fiercely fighting for the much loved iceberg, begging for it’s return to cafes and picnics all over Australia, and then, there are the pioneers, pushing the boundaries of the leafy lettuce world, declaring iceberg is boring and daring us to try more! While decades ago only a very few retailers would stock gourmet lettuce varieties, now it is perfectly common to be able to purchase mesculin, rocket or buttercrunch lettuce adding all sorts of different tastes and textures to the table.

Lettuce is grown north of Perth nearly all year through and additionally supplied from the south west during summer. We are nearly always supplied by WA production.

A lettuce should be rinsed in cold water to get rid of any sand or soil that may get caught in the leaves as it grows, and then store in an airtight container in the fridge. Use lettuce as soon as possible. Alternatively there are many pre-prepared lettuces and lettuce mixes that have the hard work already done for you and are usually already washed and ready to use (check the label on the packaging to make sure they are washed and ready to use). These can simply be stored in the fridge and used as soon as possible.

Try as many different varieties as you can, and find your favourite flavour.

After they’ve been washed, pat them dry (or use a salad spinner if you have one). If you’re using the lettuce leaves for a salad, add the dressing as late as possible to keep the lettuce crisp and crunchy.

After they’ve been washed, pat them dry (or use a salad spinner if you have one). If you’re using the lettuce leaves for a salad, add the dressing as late as possible to keep the lettuce crisp and crunchy.

Generally the rule with lettuce is the darker the variety, the more nutrients in it! Lettuce have a high water content and low calorie count, so they’re a really good way of filling up, getting a super serve of anti-oxidants and keeping the kilojoule count down.

ICEBERG LETTUCE
Nutrient Value per 100 g
Proximates
Energy, including dietary fibre 40 kJ
Moisture 95.5 g
Protein 1 g
Nitrogen 0.15 g
Fat 0.1 g
Ash 0.4 g
Dietary fibre 1.5 g
Fructose 0.2 g
Glucose 0.2 g
Sucrose 0 g
Total sugars 0.4 g
Starch 0 g
Available carbohydrate, without sugar alcohols 0.4 g
Available carbohydrate, with sugar alcohols 0.4 g
Organic Acids
Malic acid 0.1 g
Citric acid 0 g
Minerals
Arsenic (As) 0.4 mg
Cadmium (Cd) 1 mg
Calcium (Ca) 19 mg
Chromium (Cr) 2.2 mg
Copper (Cu) 0.055 mg
Fluoride (F) 160.46 mg
Iodine (I) 2.1 ug
Iron (Fe) 0.61 mg
Magnesium (Mg) 11 mg
Manganese (Mn) 0.14 mg
Molybdenum (Mo) 1.1 mg
Nickel (Ni) 11 mg
Phosphorus (P) 25 mg
Potassium (K) 205 mg
Selenium 0.5 ug
Sodium (Na) 26 mg
Zinc (Zn) 0.21 mg
Vitamins
Thiamin (B1) 0.032 mg
Riboflavin (B2) 0.032 mg
Niacin (B3) 0.43 mg
Niacin Equivalents 0.54 mg
Pyridoxine (B6) 0.05 mg
Biotin (B7) 0.7 ug
Folate, natural 24 ug
Total folates 24 ug
Dietry folate equivalents 24 ug
Alpha carotene 11 ug
Beta carotene 120 ug
Cryptoxanthin 21 ug
Beta carotene equivalents 136 ug
Retinol equivalents 23 ug
Vitamin C 4 mg

Source:
NUTTAB 2010(Food Standards Australia New Zealand); The University of New South Wales; Professor Heather Greenfield and co-workers at the University of New South Wales; Tables of composition of Australian Aboriginal Foods (J Brand-Miller, KW James and PMA Maggiore).