Oriental Vegetable – Celtuce or Stem Lettuce
This is really a stem-lettuce of Chinese origin, totally misnamed in America. It has two different uses. Firstly, the leaves are picked young and used in salads rather like a "cut and come again" lettuce; later the rosette formation changes as the stalk covered with leaves and a small tuft of leaves on the top. The second use is for the stem, which is peeled of the outer cover and thinly sliced, and then used either raw in salads or lightly steamed as a vegetable.
Sow from April and May onwards, either in a nursery bed or direct in situ. Sow in drills 1cm deep in rows 30cm apart. Thin to 20cm apart. Young leaves are ready about 4-5 weeks after planting and stems are ready when about 30cm tall.