Leopard Romaine Lettuce
Inventory, 24 ct : 0
Leopard Romaine lettuce is small to medium in size, growing in a loose, upright fashion with a vase-like, open shape. The white base connects to individual, smooth, pale green ribs that extend out into vibrant green leaves freckled with specs of burgundy. These specs become darker and more prominent as the lettuce matures. The leaves are crisp, ruffled at the edges, and tender. Leopard Romaine lettuce is succulent, sweet, and mild with a slightly bitter and herbaceous after-taste.
Leopard Romaine lettuce is available year-round, with a peak season in the spring.
Leopard Romaine lettuce, botanically classified as Lactuca sativa, is an open-pollinated, heirloom variety that is a member of the Asteraceae family. Also known as Leopard Cos lettuce and the Flashy Troutback, Leopard Romaine lettuce earned its name from the special maroon markings on the leaves and is favored by home chefs for its unique hues, mild taste, and crunchy texture.
Leopard Romaine lettuce contains anthocyanin, a phytonutrient with antioxidant benefits, and is an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamins K and A, and folate. Leopard Romaine lettuce also contains manganese, potassium, copper, iron, and vitamins B1 and C.
Leopard Romaine lettuce is best suited for raw applications as its tender texture and mild flavor is showcased when used fresh. Leopard Romaine lettuce can be used as a vessel for dips and filling, layered in sandwiches, wraps, or burgers, or flash grilled and served as an appetizer. It can also be torn, tossed, and used as a colorful take on a Caesar salad. Leopard Romaine lettuce pairs well with bacon, anchovies, nutty aged cheeses, chiles, creamy dressings, aged balsamic, citrus, melons, avocado, pears, peaches, apples, dried fruit, hers such as basil, dill, tarragon, and mint and nuts such as hazelnuts, pistachios, and pine nuts. The leaves will keep for a couple of days when stored in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.
The seeds for Leopard Romaine lettuce were developed in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, where the cool environment is ideal for romaine and other lettuce varieties. Seed developer Frank Morton began breeding lettuce in the early 1980s after a chance red lettuce seedling appeared amidst his green oakleaf lettuce. Since then, Morton along with his wife Karen has produced hundreds of named varieties including the Leopard Romaine. This lettuce is also popular in home gardening for its resistance to heat and downy mildew. It is also favored as a cut-and-come-again variety as the young, outer leaves can be harvested and the head will continue to regrow new leaves throughout the season.
Leopard Romaine lettuce was developed by an organic seed and vegetable farm called Wild Garden Seed outside of Philomath, Oregon in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Today Leopard Romaine lettuce is available at farmers markets and through select seed retailers in the United States and Europe.