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May 30, 2003 01:30 AM

asparagus lettuce?

  • h

I had a green by that name at Fountain Court tonight. It was good. Does this go by any other name? Is it related to asparagus?

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  1. s
    Stanley Stephan

    Looking on the web it's more common name is celtuse. Besides being called asapargus lettuce it is also called stem lettuce and Chinese Lettuce.

    The name celtuce does not mean it is a cross between Celery and Lettuce.

    It is just a variety of Lettuce grown for its romaine-like foliage and mainly for its thick, edible stem. The stem grows 6 to 8 inches long and about 1½ inches in diameter.

    The stems can be cooked like broccoli and supposedly taste like a cross between a mild summer squash and an artichoke. The leaves can be used for salad.

    Here's more info and a picture of the veggie below. Has anyone here used these in cooking and how? I haven't noticed these anywhere locally, but then again, I wasn't looking. I probably won't be able to walk down the street now without seeing them somewhere.

    The link below says it is used in Chinese cooking. Are there any restaurants that serve this besides the one mentioned?



    4 Replies
    1. re: Stanley Stephan

      Fascinating, SS! Thanks for the research.

      And I know just what you mean about how once you become aware of something, you see it everywhere!

      1. re: Stanley Stephan

        Chinese don't usually cook the foliage. They're usually found in the markets decapitated. Several places in Chinatown on Stockton St. sell them. My wife shaved them in shreds and very lightly stir-fries then mildly seasoned. It makes a great cold dish (sometimes served at Shanghainese restaurants).

        1. re: Gary Soup

          Fountain Court served the stems and leaves, braised with whole garlic cloves. Lovely.

          1. re: heidipie

            I've never seen it served or even sold with the leaves still attached. One web source seems to confirm that this is the case.