We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Lamb's Lettuce?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Lamb's lettuce is a flavorful salad green native to the temperate zones of Europe. In addition to being found in the wild in many parts of Europe, the green is also sold in markets, especially in the spring, when the tender young shoots are the most flavorful. Outside of Europe, this plant can sometimes be a bit challenging to find; for people who are having difficulties, several seed companies sell seeds that can be cultivated at home. Like other greens, lamb's lettuce is very easy to grow at home, although it will go to seed quickly in warm climates.

Several different species in the Valerianella genus are known as lamb's lettuce, and there are many alternate names for this green, which can add to consumer confusion. It is also sometimes called field or corn salad, in a reference to the fact that it often grows wild in cultivated fields. The common name appears to stem from the fact that it tastes best during lambing season, and some people also call it lamb's tongue, because the leaves resemble small tongues. It can be found on restaurant menus as mâche.

When fresh and young, lamb's lettuce has a slightly nutty, tangy flavor. Some people consider it a borderline bitter green because of the tang, and older greens definitely verge on the bitter. Field lettuce can be used in salad mixes, or eaten on its own; some cooks also steam it and use it like a vegetable. If it is cooked, it is usually just briefly wilted to retain the flavor and nutritional value. The nutty flavor pairs well with a range of dressings and other ingredients.

Like many zesty-flavored foraged greens, lamb's lettuce has a high nutritional value. It typically provides several vital minerals and nutrients, including vitamins C, E, and B9, along with beta carotene and essential fatty acids. Commercially cultivated greens may not be as nutritionally rich, depending on farming practices, but it is generally more beneficial than conventional lettuce.

When selecting lamb's lettuce in the store, cooks should look for deep green, velvety leaves that are crisp. Wilted or discolored greens should be avoided. Some markets sell whole heads, in which case the leaves will form a rosette. Cooks should rinse the leaves before use, and try to use them within three to four days, because they are very delicate. People should avoid crushing any salad greens, because bruising can turn them bitter.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon243080 — On Jan 26, 2012

I ate mâche salads almost every day when I was an exchange student in France, but now that I'm back, I can't find it anywhere. I'm going to try to grow some!

By googie98 — On Jul 22, 2010

Eating Lamb’s lettuce raw is the best way to retain the vitamins. When you cook it in a flan or omelets, it is better to steam cook it. If you avoid direct contact with water, the vitamins and nutrients are retained. In soup, the vitamins and minerals aren’t lost because the cooking water is consumed.

By WaterHopper — On Jul 22, 2010

When buying Lamb’s lettuce, look for bunches that are nicely shaped and not crushed. Look for deep green leaves that have a velvety appearance. If the leaves look yellow, it is not fresh. It is better when it is young because as it gets older, there is more of a bitter taste. Don’t put it in the bottom of your shopping basket because it is easily crushed. Place it on the top as you would your bread.

By bananas — On Jul 31, 2008

This is a trouble free lettuce that grows easily in a variety of soils. It is not one of the favorites because it tends to be bitter.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.