Seed Saddos: Grosse Blonde Paresseuse

This is a picture of lettuce in my garden called Fat Lazy Blond Cow, or Grosse Blonde Paresseuse, a lovely,  floppy French butterhead variety from about 1859. At a time when our plates are over-run with rocket, mizuna, perilla, red veined sorrel and various other peppy leaves, the rather more common or garden butterhead lettuces don’t get much of a mention. And yet I warm towards the easy-going comforts of the mild-mannered butterhead. It’s an easy eat after the spiky, flashy pleasure of the more fashionable salad ingredients. The broad spread of each leaf holds a decent slick of vinaigrette. They fold easily into the mouth, melt under pressure from the tongue, and give up their genial delicate, fresh flavours with a smile. I even have a sneaking liking for what used to be called salade bien fatigue, ie that has been left in the bowl for a few hours and has gone beyond floppy. But most of all, it makes the finest base for a salad to have with my home cured pigs cheek (aka guanciale), the recipe for which I will give another day.

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