Celtuce Lettuce: What Is It, How to Prepare it, + 3 Recipes to Enjoy It
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If you have never heard of celtuce lettuce before, you are not alone.
It is not a big staple vegetable here in the U.S. but it is very popular in other parts of the world.
And let me tell you…
There’s a reason it’s so popular!
This is the first time we’ve grown it and I told Farmer Pete that 100% YES! We will grow it again!
I love playing with new foods and trying things out…
What is Celtuce Lettuce?
The name “celtuce” is actually a blend of the words “celery” and “lettuce.”
Celtuce lettuce grows during the cooler months of winter. So it is also referred to as winter lettuce.
The plant looks very similar to romaine while growing; a massive head of a lettuce!!
The leaves ARE edible and even taste very similar to romaine so go ahead and make a huge salad with those!
But instead of having a crunchy heart in the middle like romaine, there is a huge stalk like celery!
And the stalk is the part we’re after!
The stalk can get to be around 18 inches in length. When the plant is harvested, the leaves are removed to show the true essence of the stalk!
What Does Celtuce Lettuce Taste Like?
What’s funny is that the name implies that it should taste like celery and lettuce but it doesn’t really taste like either!
Celtuce lettuce actually has a flavor more of a broccoli stalk rather than what it’s named after.
The flavor is more rich and robust than broccoli stalks and the texture is more sturdy.
It can be eaten raw or cooked all the different cooking ways!
Health Benefits of Celtuce Lettuce
This veggie is definitely high up there on the health benefits list (1). For example, one cup provides 30% of the daily value needed of manganese which helps with metabolism, maintaining blood sugar, and calcium absorption (2).
So don’t shy away from this one! It can now become a regular staple in your seasonal diet!
Here is a list of the slew of nutrients celtuce lettuce provides.
- Loaded in Vitamins A and C
- Dietary fiber
- Mineral Magnesium
- Non-heme iron
Storing and Preserving Celtuce
Storing Celtuce: You can cut it into approximately 5″ long pieces and store it in a zip lock bag or mason jar in your refrigerator. DO NOT PEEL IT before you do this. That peel will help keep the moisture and the freshness in the stalk. It can last up to 4 weeks in there!
Preserving Celtuce: it is a very tasty and sturdy vegetable that I’m pretty sure you could pickle the stalk. I know that you can definitely ferment it because you can ferment any vegetable! I am still experimenting with freezing it. I will update this post when I know more.
How to Prepare Celtuce Lettuce
Preparing the celtuce is really simple and easy.
Check out this video I made with the different ways of prepping celtuce lettuce.
- Remove all the leaves…again these are edible so make sure to set them aside for a yummy salad!
- Cut off the root.
- The stalk is covered with a skin, something similar to a pineapple (not as rough). You will want to COMPLETELY remove the outer skin with a vegetable peeler. I LOVE these magic trio vegetable peelers. They are very ergonomic, easy to use, and very sharp to get any job done! (They can peel a pineapple too!). That outer skin does not cook down at all so if you do not completely remove it, you’ll feel it when you eat it. It will feel like you’re eating a stick! Once the skin is removed, you’re ready to slice and dice. If you find the bottom part of the stalk a little tough, just move up the stalk a little and start cutting there. It can be a little tough there at the bottom.
- You can then eat it raw or cook it. The best cooking method is steaming.
Different Techniques of Slicing And Dicing
- The most popular slicing technique is to slice it into medallions. You’ll see it done like this in many Asian cuisines.
- You can use the julienne peeler of the magic trio peelers to shred it to make little celtuce matchbox sticks to be eaten raw on top of a salad or garnish your dish.
- Spiralize it. The stalk is sturdy enough that you can spiralize it and use as veggie noodles.
- Slice it into strips to be used like bamboo shoots in Asian cuisine.
5 Ways to Cook Celtuce Lettuce
- Steam: You can steam it like you would broccoli. I use a Ninja Foodi 10-in-1 pressure cooker and use the steam function to make it a hands-off cooking experience.
- Air fry/roast: I cut the celtuce into strips and air-fried them. They turned out almost like little chips. It has a very good flavor!
- Sauté: I made this Indian-inspired Gobi Manacharin recipe the other night and didn’t have any peppers (they’re out of season) and I had just sliced and diced a bunch of celtuce from the video above and thought, “I’ll just throw this in instead.” It was amazing!
- Eat it Raw: You can slice this up and dip it into your hummus for change in your afternoon snack!
What Celtuce Lettuce Can Substitute
You can use celtuce lettuce in replace of broccoli, bamboo shoots, cauliflower, peppers, or celery, but it is so good that you can just add it with anything listed above.
3 Celtuce Lettuce Recipes
Here are some awesome recipes that you can try out while you’re playing with your new veggie.
So Should You Give Celtuce Lettuce a Go?
Once you try this, you’re going to be completely amazed and wonder why you haven’t seen or tried it before.
It is probably not found in your local grocery store, you may have to go to an Asian market to find this veggie.