Salanova Lettuce

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Lettuce is a leafy vegetable widely used across the globe. We all know it in the form of salads, but we can also see it in wraps, sandwiches, and even soups. However, as we all know, this highly-nutritious food also takes time to cut, wash, and use. It’s also highly perishable so you have to utilize them as soon as you can. Most of us accepted and live with such compromises since it has already been a large part of our daily diet. But as we say, there’s always room for improvement. So, what if a lettuce doesn’t have to be that difficult to handle? 

Well, Salanova is the answer. Salanova is also known as Multileaf or Eazyleaf. It is a new kind of head lettuce with a registered trademark. It was invented by Rijk Zwaan, a Dutch seed company in Europe. This lettuce is not only flavorful, nutritious, and tender. But, it also has a prolonged shelf life, is easy to use, and wash. It has a unique core that only needs to be cut once to separate the entire head from all of its baby leaves. As a matter of fact, a gadget has been manufactured to do this, which is completely unnecessary since a sharp knife is just as efficient. Still, it is favored by many culinary enthusiasts for those reasons. But, growers love them too as they are small and can be grown hydroponically, either in fields or greenhouses.

Moreover, Salanova lettuce has varieties too. One is multicolored while five of which are divided into two colors: green and red. Even so, all of them have a round base that grows on a rosette pattern. Though their leaves are smaller than a typical lettuce, they’re thicker and high-yielding to better withstand handling and longer shelf-life.

Classification Information:
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Lactuca
Species: L. Sativa
Binomial Name: Lactuca Sativa ‘Salanova’

Salanova Lettuce Trivia

  • Salanova lettuce produces 3-4 times more leaves than a standard lettuce.
  • It took 10 years for the growers’ Marco Moor and Egbert Smits to breed and produce the different varieties of Salanova lettuce. These varieties started as two separate plants in the early 1990s, and the trademark was released for commercial use in 2005, with only one variety in the United States, and the rest were later released to the public in 2010.
  • Salanova lettuce has an improved resistance to a few diseases and they require less labor to harvest and prepare for the market.
  • In ancient Egypt, Salanova was considered to be sacred.

Salanova Lettuce Buying Guide

Buying Salanova is relatively simple. It’s easy to tell the fresh ones from those that aren’t. Still, here are some basic guidelines on how to choose the best Salanova lettuce:

  • Salanova leaves should be vibrant and crisp. Avoid the ones that are starting to wilt or have wilted, and discard the ones that have yellow or brown spots.
  • Salanova head varieties should also be firm and tight. Avoid the ones that are loose or are limping.
  • Since Salanova has color varieties, it’s good to know that the darker the leaves, the more nutrient-dense they are.
  • If possible, buy organic Salanova. Organic ones might not be as perfectly shaped as the conventional or GMO ones, but they’re sweeter and more nutritious. Not to mention that they’re kinder to the planet too.
  • As always, Salanova lettuce varieties from farmers’ markets are better than the ones in stores. Here, the products are usually organic and you’ll be able to meet and help your community.

Varieties of Salanova Lettuce:

  • Butterhead Green and Butterhead Red – This butterhead, rosette-like types of Salanova have rounded, soft leaves that provide a luscious taste. They pair perfectly on light barbecue dishes!
  • Crispy Green and Crispy Red – These varieties provide crunchiness similar to an iceberg, with the handling convenience of Salanova. However, they’re not as flavorful as the others, that’s why they’re best paired on heavy dressings.
  • Oak Green and Oak Red – These oak leaves-shape varieties provide a nutty taste that works perfectly on citrus-based dressings.
  • Lollo Green and Lollo Red – Inspired by the Lolla Rosso, these varieties have crenated leaves that provide a tender and sweet taste. They’re best to be used on sandwiches, wraps, and rolls.
  • Batavia Green and Batavia Red – These varieties are the latest additions to the Salanova family. They have very appealing leaves that work perfectly as wraps. They also pair well on cheesy and/or meaty dressings!
  • Salatrio – This multicolored variety of Salanova is a combination of the first three lettuce types. Thus, it’s really all you need to make a colorful, wonderful, stand-alone salad.

Salanova Lettuce Production & Farming in Texas

Salanova lettuce is a cool-climate crop with preferred temperatures between 60 and 65ºF. In Texas, they are usually planted between late September and October. For a successful and continuous harvest, sow the seeds every 2 to 3 weeks and start them indoors 3-4 weeks before transplanting. Moreover, Salanova also performs well in loose and well-drained soil with a pH level ranging from 6.2 to 6.8. The soil should also be abundant in organic matter. On warm or sunny days, transfer them onto shaded areas as it is important to keep the soil below 75ºF so that the seeds will not enter thermal dormancy, a condition wherein germination is prohibited or retarded. However, you may choose to purchase pelleted seeds as these seeds undergo a priming process to break thermal dormancy. Nevertheless, you can harvest Salanova lettuce in two ways. First, you may cut the leaves 2 to 3 inches above the soil line to ensure regrowth within 2 weeks. When doing this, use a sharp scissor as hand cutting or handpicking can damage the plant. Or second, you can pick the entire head at the very base of the stem. However, be aware that it will not continue to grow if harvested this way.

Still, Salanova is a higher-yielding crop that can easily produce 4 to 6 pounds of lettuce per week. It is easy to grow and it has an improved resistance to diseases like the currant-lettuce aphid Nasonovia. 

Pesticides:

Conventional or organically grown, fruits and vegetables are essential components of a healthy diet. However, many of these contain potentially harmful pesticides, even after thorough washing, peeling, or scrubbing. Thus, what we can only do is to be aware of which items are the most or least contaminated.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is an American group that focuses on the advocacy of agricultural subsidies, pollutants, and toxic chemicals. They have created the Dirty Dozen List, which is being updated each year to rank fruits and vegetables that contain the highest pesticide contamination based on the samples tested by the USDA and FDA. 

Although Salanova is genetically engineered to be resistant to pests like Nasonovia, they are still susceptible to some of them. That’s why they are often grown with high amounts of pesticides. And, it’s not something that can just be washed away with water. Even after a thorough cleaning, residues remain on the crop.

Thus, it is better to buy organic ones or grow them yourself to reduce the amounts of your pesticide consumption.

Geography:

Although Salanova lettuce originated in Europe, they are now predominantly found at local farmers’ markets or gourmet stores in Austria, Croatia, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa, United Kingdom, and the United States. You may also find a few in other countries as well.

Packaging:

Just like salad greens, Salanova lettuce usually comes in loose plastic bags or containers. These are packaged and priced by the bundle. Some stores, especially in the farmers’ markets, also sell them by weight, either by the kilogram or pound. But, if you’re planning to buy on wholesale, go to your nearest local producer, and you can get these greens in bushels, cartons, and even crates. Meanwhile, you can also buy Salanova seeds that come in pouches.

Eating Salanova Lettuce

Salanova lettuce is best consumed raw as its crisp texture, mild, nutty, and earthy flavors are showcased when used fresh. Thus, its leaves are traditionally used in salads. However, it can also be used in sandwiches, pasta, spring rolls, burgers, and wraps. It also works perfectly as a bed for cooked proteins.

Storage:

Salanova lettuce should be wrapped unwashed in a loose bag lined with a bunch of paper towels. They should be stored in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator, with a temperature that ranges between 40 and 45ºF. Properly stored, Salanova will retain its freshness for 3 to 5 days. If you dress them, however, they will only last for 1 to 3 days.

Cooking:

Salanova lettuce is also noted for its baby leaves. Thus, you can cook them just like you would baby greens – light and quick! They pair well with yogurt, mustard, potatoes, radish, mint, bean sprouts, tomatoes, cucumber, onions, garlic, seafood, duck, and poultry.

Nutrition:

Salanova lettuces are generally low in calories. Not to mention that their calories are mainly composed of water and fiber – not sugar. They’re also low in fat and have a considerable amount of protein per calorie. But, these greens are mostly noted for their vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. They’re an excellent source of vitamin A, K, folate, and molybdenum. The green varieties of Salanova are good sources of fiber and calcium. They also offer small amounts of iron and protein. Meanwhile, the red varieties of Salanova provide antioxidant benefits in the form of anthocyanins.

When Are Salanova Lettuce in Season in Texas?

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  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • Oktober
  • November
  • December

One of the most salient benefits to eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy. We are rarely encouraged to think about the physical lengths our food travels before arriving on the market shelves. And all of this travel comes with a hefty environmental cost that is concealed from the consumer’s eye. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas.

Buy Local Farmfresh Salanova Lettuce in Texas Directly from the Producer

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