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Lettuce

Indian cuisines have been strangely resistant to this green, unlike the hearty embrace accorded to other vegetables that came with the Europeans, such as cabbage, tomato and potato. This despite the fact that India is the fifth largest producer of lettuce worldwide (according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s report for the calendar year 2007). It is one of the most nutritious vegetables around. While all varieties of lettuce contain antioxidants and vitamin K, the darker varieties are richer in vitamins A and C. The milky white fluid secreted by lettuce stems is known as lettuce opium (Lactucarium) because of its sedative and analgesic properties.

Romaine

Loose leaf

Butterhead lettuce

Crisphead lettuce (aka iceberg lettuce)

Arugula (aka rocket, roquette, rucola, rugola)

amrita.r@livemint.com

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