How can I use up or reuse (or use up) lettuce?

LettuceI read a good article the other day about how to avoid wasting food including bread, cream, rice and pasta.

I’m a big believer in using up leftovers, particularly in the form of soup or soup related products – but as much as I love soupery, I’m a little sceptical about the comment in the article saying that “even salads” can be soupified.

While I can find a few recipes for different lettuce soups – and am impressed with the suggestions of using up the often wasted outer leaves and inner most bits, I’m still not sure I fancy giving it a bash.

But leftover lettuce is often an issue in our house – if we get a couple of different types of lettuce to have an interesting salad, they start to go limp before we get through them. I guess it’s the mass of people in a similar position that has led to the huge popularity of bagged salad – but we’d rather not go down that route.

So what else can we do with the leftover lettuce? Obviously it can go in the compost heap but if we can use it up before that stage, it would be good.

(Photo by lusi)

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20 Responses to “How can I use up or reuse (or use up) lettuce?”

  1. Jennny says:

    I’ve put the outer leaves and limp left-overs of various types of lettuce into home-made veg soup for years!

  2. Bobbie says:

    You would be surprised at how delicious it is cooked, sort of a nutty flavor. I’ve eaten it lightly sauted in butter and it is delicious, also as wraps for sandwiches and eggrolls.

  3. fuchsoid says:

    I’d suggest soup, but not everyone (me included) likes the taste of cooked lettuce. The guineapig suggestion looks good!

  4. yogahz says:

    Limp lettuce (and celery) can be revitalized by soaking in cold water.

    You don’t have to make lettuce soup, just add to any soup.

    Add to stir fry.

    Lettuce wraps are a great idea Bobbie!

  5. Angharad says:

    Since lettuce doesn’t have much flavour of its own, I chop it up and throw it in the pot with more zesty greens, like mustard greens or turnips.

  6. Sabrina says:

    I agree with one above poster, saute’ or stir fry and serve with a Chinese-style meal. The inner core/leaves work well for this as well.

  7. trish says:

    I’d just cut it up a bit and toss it outside. I’ve seen squirrels eat it, and raccoons.

    If you don’t like the idea of animals in your yard, you could always call the local school and ask if they have any classroom pets that eat lettuce.

  8. John B says:

    I have a recipe for lettuce wine. Never tried it myself but if anyone’s interested….

  9. Elouise says:

    I know of somebody who feeds her hamster a fresh leaf of any kind once a day. Apparently the hamster loves eating a fresh leaf, to balance all the dried biscuits and nuts of its usual diets.

  10. Delia says:

    Don’t feed lettuce to rabbits – it’s actually very bad for them. (Cabbage is OK)

  11. dominique says:

    this is not actually a suggestion to recycle your lettuce but to maybe keep it fresh a little longer.

    hydration is the key, you could try spraying it with water everyday and cutting a layer of the root thingy everyday as weel so it stays white or greenish instead of brownish..

    i worked in a fruit and vegetable department, and thats what we did to keep it fresh longer…

    hope it helps

  12. Lizard says:

    Lettuce that is over limp can be regenerated if you put it with the stalk in hot water for a few seconds. sounds crazy but true!

  13. Spaggie says:

    Puree it with a little water or stock and put into vegetable soups. No one will be able to tell, you don’t waste it and you get some extra vitamins! I do this all the time with veggies that are approaching their end.

    If you like health drinks, puree the lettuce and add to a fruit smoothie (yogurt, fruit, maybe a little ice). Since lettuce doesn’t have much flavor, you won’t taste it – I promise!

  14. Donna says:

    Again, less re-using, more keeping it fresh longer. Lettuce from a whole head will last for ages in the fridge if you chop the end off, and wash and spin the leaves it as soon as you get it home. Then just place in a bowl in the fridge, covered with a clean damp cloth. Make sure you cut the lettuce though, not tear it by hand.

    Braised frozen peas with lettuce is delicious, though.

  15. Marcus says:

    Your greens will stay crisp longer with some extra care. However, the nutrients go FAST, and there’s not much in there to begin with. Growing
    your own edible salad greens is fool proof. They make excellent house
    plants and also produce oxogen and consume carbon dioxide! There is no refridgeration required, (saves evergy), and they are free of pesticides. Do you know why everyone detests dandelions in the lawn?
    It’s because they totally suck all the nutrients out of the soil; the calcium,
    magnesium, iron…… guess what you’re eating when you eat some?
    ALL those nutrients the plant pilfered from the soil! HEALTHY STUFF.
    The most SUSTAINABLE thing we can all do about salad greens is to grow our own. Transporting them from farms uses fossil fuels. It breaks
    my heart that people are so set in their ways and so disconnected from
    Mother Earth that the simple act of growing salad greens intimidates.

  16. Ratna says:

    I am told that lettuce roots have steroid like effect Please confirm Also suggest me various other palnts that can replace steroids Thanks

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