For the April Tuesday Tips, we have been focusing on one veggie tip each week and including a recipe! This week we will focus on Romaine Lettuce.
If you grow only one vegetable other than tomatoes, it should be lettuce. Lettuce is so easy, takes up little space, and you can even grow it among flowers. Lettuce grows for many weeks in the mild weather of spring and fall.
- Although lettuce grows fastest in full sun, it is one of the few vegetables that tolerates some shade. In fact, a spring crop often lasts longer if shaded from the afternoon sun as the season warms.
- You can grow lots of lettuce in a small space, even a container. Mix it with other taller plants, such as tomatoes in the spring, or grow a mix of different varieties for a living salad bowl.
- Give lettuce fertile, well-drained, moist soil with plenty of rich organic matter and a pH between 6.0 and 7.0
- Many gardeners plant lettuce much closer together, preferring to harvest leaves continuously before they reach full size.
- For the most tender, succulent leaves, water regularly during dry weather. Also mulch to keep the soil cool and moist. Mulch also prevents weeds.
You can also plant lettuce in a container! Thinking about starting a container garden this spring? It’s not too late! Our container garden class is this morning from 10-11:30. Stop by the nursery or call 732.530.3838 to sign-up! The class is $10 and you will leave with your own lettuce bowl containing 4 vegetable plants.
Don’t hesitate to contact us at the nursery if you have further questions. We are here to help you!
Bacon Glazed Carrots on Wilted Romaine
(From The Blackberry Farm Cookbook)
- 4-6 carrots, peeled and cut on the bias into 1/3 inch thick slices to measure 6 cups
- 3 strips of thick-cut bacon, finely diced
- 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 head of romaine lettuce, coursely chopped
- 1/2 fresh lemon
In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the carrots, bring back to a boil and cook for 5-6 minutes until tender. Drain the carrots in a colander and rinse under cold running water until cool. Drain and set aside.
Place a medium skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes, until crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. Stir the thyme and honey into the fat in the skillet, return to medium heat and let cook for 1 minute. Add the carrots and cook for another 2-3 minutes, tossing them in the pan so that they are well-coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Remove the carrots from the pan and add the lettuce. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute, until the lettuce is just wilted. Transfer to a platter or divide among plates, top with the carrots, add a light squeeze of fresh lemon over the carrots, then sprinkle with the reserved bacon bits and serve.