OP. The next best thing! Check out this YouTube video on celtuce. This ancient form of native Egyptian celtuce is enjoyed for its 12–14″ crunchy stems with creamy flavor. The emerald green leaves have a completely different taste than our familiar kinds of lettuce, a rich non-bitter creamy flavor, like a lettuce smoothie. The peeled, tender inner stem has a flavor that is mild to slightly bitter, and is typically sliced and used in stir fries and soups. Crops grown in cool weather will be milder. The young leaves may also be used in salads. The plant makes a tall rosette, taste like regular lettuce leaves without bitterness and can be harvested anytime, remaining sweet and crispy even after bolting. Frank Morton says celtuce was a symbol of virility in ancient hieroglyphs. Grow just like head lettuce, in rows 18″ apart. 55 days. Photo courtesy of Wild Garden Seed.
Cold-tolerant plants that stand in the field for harvest as needed in late fall and early winter. May overwinter in mild seasons, or die back and sprout from the root in spring for an extra-early crop. See our Fall & Winter Vegetable Guide for specific planting/harvest times & freeze-out temperatures.