Author Topic: Celtuce  (Read 1943 times)

Tiny Clanger

  • Half Acre
  • ***
  • Posts: 180
Celtuce
« on: February 28, 2021, 12:52:06 »
I'm going to have a crack at growing this as our "new" crop this year.  We've grown one unsual item every year for the last 5 years and this year its going to be Celtuce.  Has anyone any tips for growing/harvesting/cooking this?  What sort of success did you have.  The "unusual" stuff we've grown in previous seasons has not been a wild success.  The resulting produce was a bit yuk!  Hoping this Celtuce will be more palatable.  :wave:
I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.

Allotments 4 All

Celtuce
« on: February 28, 2021, 12:52:06 »

Obelixx

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,714
  • Vendée, France
Re: Celtuce
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2021, 14:13:44 »
Never heard of it so googled it and found info on growing, harvesting and even some recipes.  Use the leaves a salad leaves and the stems in stir fry.

What have you grown before this?  I tried asparagus pea - once! - and Chinese artichokes - also once!  Much prefer to grow veg I know I like and will use and which are expensive or unobtainable in local SMs and markets.
Obxx - Vendée France

Beersmith

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 639
  • Duston, Northampton. Loam / sand.
Re: Celtuce
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2021, 19:25:32 »
I'm always open to trying something new. My experience is that most of the novelties are acceptable but very few have any "wow factor".  Over many years I've tried lots of them.

Among the best are Inca berries / physalis. Easy to grow, rarely bothered by pests, and delicious fruity flavour.

Asparagus peas .ok for an occasional dish, especially steamed when very young, but they soon get tough, and not worth eating when they do.

Tomatillo are actually quite good for green salsa. But that's it in my opinion. Never really found any other way of serving them that appeals.

Cucamelon perfectly edible but I find little to set them apart from snack size cucumber.

Salsify and Jerusalem artichokes are quite different. I love the flavour.  But, pardon me, pardon me, pardon me, oops, pardon me again, sorry that was me, etc, etc, etc.

Nasturtiums are worth a go. A pleasant peppery flavour, and a useful garnish on salads. But I once grew two rows and only ended up eating about one plant.

One year I plan to have a go at bamboo shoots.  Has anyone tried them?


Not mad, just out to mulch!

Paulh

  • Acre
  • ****
  • Posts: 429
Re: Celtuce
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2021, 20:15:35 »
I don't grow tomatillos now and I've not dug any Jerusalem artichokes up for a couple of years.

I've had some experiments that have stuck - Spanish Black Radish Round which crops prodigiously in the Autumn as a succession crop and roasts really well in place of turnips, also climbing bean "Golden Gate" which brightens up the plate.

My problem is more that I have success with an experiment and can't repeat it - land cress, Greek cress, Hamburg parsley.

I looked at celtuce a couple of years ago and decided it wasn't interesting enough.

My experiments now are mostly different varieties of courgette and winter squash (Pink Banana is a wow).

Obelixx

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,714
  • Vendée, France
Re: Celtuce
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2021, 20:24:07 »
Cucamelons are definitely a case of hype over reality but I do love Jerusalem artichokes.  Much better than globe artichokes which I now leave to flower as the colour is good and they attract loads of bees and other pollinators and I quite like the form of the whole plant.

My experiment for this year is a pomegranate and a feijoa.
Obxx - Vendée France

saddad

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 17,635
  • Derby, Derbyshire (Strange, but true!)
Re: Celtuce
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2021, 20:40:12 »
Cucamelons.... Wong on so many levels!
Winter Radish are great, grated into winter salads raw, or boiled or roasted like turnips. Can go in soon after potatoes are lifted... unless you are growing late mains.

Beersmith

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 639
  • Duston, Northampton. Loam / sand.
Re: Celtuce
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2021, 21:30:31 »

My experiment for this year is a pomegranate and a feijoa.

I'm hooked!  Next year it'll be winter radish, and I'm off to search the int'web to see if feijoa will grow in the UK.
Not mad, just out to mulch!

Paulh

  • Acre
  • ****
  • Posts: 429
Re: Celtuce
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2021, 21:56:45 »
"Cucamelons.... Wong on so many levels!"

As in James Wong?

Obelixx

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,714
  • Vendée, France
Re: Celtuce
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2021, 21:57:37 »
Feijoa/pineapple quava is hardy to -5C so I kept my new plant in the polytunnel for winter and planted it out a few days ago.  It's evergreen and I will have to keep an eye on it and be ready with fleece if we look set to have heavy (for here) frosts.   It's in a new fruit bed on the south side of the PT so will be sheltered from the coldest northerly winds.

https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/26630/Acca-sellowiana-(F)/Details
Obxx - Vendée France

Tiny Clanger

  • Half Acre
  • ***
  • Posts: 180
Re: Celtuce
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2021, 12:00:09 »
Hi Obelix. I tried asparagus pea about 5 years ago. Have not grown again. Tried them cooked and raw. Did not go down well with family. Grew OCA a coupke of years ago. Same outcome. Not impressed. They took almost  all year to grow (feb to dec.) Disappointing. Cucamelons are another no-no, as are cucmber "crystal" the ones shaped like a kiwi. I always like to try a different tomato variety every season, along with the regulars. This year, San Maranzano. Italian chum recomended.

Here's to a better season than last year. Heart wasn't really in it I fear   :wave:
I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.

Tiny Clanger

  • Half Acre
  • ***
  • Posts: 180
Re: Celtuce
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2021, 12:02:47 »
I'm always open to trying something new. My experience is that most of the novelties are acceptable but very few have any "wow factor".  Over many years I've tried lots of them.

Among the best are Inca berries / physalis. Easy to grow, rarely bothered by pests, and delicious fruity flavour.

Asparagus peas .ok for an occasional dish, especially steamed when very young, but they soon get tough, and not worth eating when they do.

Tomatillo are actually quite good for green salsa. But that's it in my opinion. Never really found any other way of serving them that appeals.

Cucamelon perfectly edible but I find little to set them apart from snack size cucumber.

Salsify and Jerusalem artichokes are quite different. I love the flavour.  But, pardon me, pardon me, pardon me, oops, pardon me again, sorry that was me, etc, etc, etc.

Nasturtiums are worth a go. A pleasant peppery flavour, and a useful garnish on salads. But I once grew two rows and only ended up eating about one plant.

One year I plan to have a go at bamboo shoots.  Has anyone tried them?


I use nasturtiums when I've no capers in the cupboard 😆😆😆
I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.

Tiny Clanger

  • Half Acre
  • ***
  • Posts: 180
Re: Celtuce
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2021, 12:06:15 »
I don't grow tomatillos now and I've not dug any Jerusalem artichokes up for a couple of years.

I've had some experiments that have stuck - Spanish Black Radish Round which crops prodigiously in the Autumn as a succession crop and roasts really well in place of turnips, also climbing bean "Golden Gate" which brightens up the plate.

My problem is more that I have success with an experiment and can't repeat it - land cress, Greek cress, Hamburg parsley.

I looked at celtuce a couple of years ago and decided it wasn't interesting enough.

My experiments now are mostly different varieties of courgette and winter squash (Pink Banana is a wow).

Love the Blue Banana. Think Musquee de Provence and Crown Price are my favourites. Honey bear as an acorn and Thelmas sweet potato (it is a squash) was a real eye opener. Definitely growing that one again 😆
I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.

Obelixx

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,714
  • Vendée, France
Re: Celtuce
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2021, 12:22:07 »
Same here with oca - forgettable - and cucamelons and we also tried a poire-melon which I think is also called Pepino.  Total waste of time and they took up a lot of space in the polytunnel.   Now all I have in there are some lemon grass and over wintering citrus and fuchsias.  The lemon grass is looking 3/4 dead so may go as I've now found a Vietnamese shop where I can get fresh supplies and then the PT will be filled with chillies and tomatoes and maybe one cucumber for OH.
Obxx - Vendée France

saddad

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 17,635
  • Derby, Derbyshire (Strange, but true!)
Re: Celtuce
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2021, 08:18:49 »
"Cucamelons.... Wong on so many levels!"

As in James Wong?.....

How did you guess?

Vinlander

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,670
  • North London - heavy but fertile clay
Re: Celtuce
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2021, 11:38:59 »
I have tried just about every asparagus substitute there is, and none of them taste anywhere near asparagus - 99% of them are so inferior they are a total waste of time.

The only one I've found that's any good at all is the first hop shoots - they still don't taste like asparagus but they are definitely worth eating- though I can't be bothered cooking them - they are a nice raw snack to browse when you're at the plot.

Salsify sprouts do taste good - but absolutely nothing like asparagus - more of an interesting vegetable in its own right  - certainly a useful resource right now.

I like oca - partly because I don't like boiled potato so I much prefer oca, though again they are better raw or stir-fried - some of the varieties have a different taste (though the most different was one I was given that had an absolutely beautiful root - it was rose pink and translucent and looked more like a branched gemstone nodule than a vegetable - sadly it tasted of nothing at all).

I've tried a few veg reputed to have a hint of nutty flavour, often "sweet chestnut flavour", but only one is worth growing - the tuberous pea (Lathyrus tuberosus) is delicious - but it's quite fiddly to find the sparse tubers (brown or black things the size of your thumb - camouflaged against the soil) - if I had broad acres I'd definitely just plant the tree, but until then I'll keep growing them in bags of rotchip (Linnaeus was a big fan, and was apparently annoyed when the potato took over and he couldn't buy them in the market any more).

On the same theme the "American groundnut" (Apios) is just awful - dry and fibrous if you grow them on a pond margin and far worse if you don't.

Yacon is good (almost mainstream now) - sweet, juicy and smoky - sort of halfway between a milder J.artichoke and a watermelon.

I agree that the pineapple guava is nice (Acca/Feijoa and very ornamental) - the flowers are as delicious as marshmallows, and the fruit is sweet & good if you don't mind that hint of "hospital corridor" in the skin - a sort of delicate whiff of iodine and TCP.

Physalis "Aunt Molly's" is much better than the type sold in the shops or on cupcakes. It's probably P. mollissima - very nearly reliably hardy in London under cover in a raised bed - but it is a bit of a thug in a PT - better in it's own giant cloche - a 1.5m cube is about right...

Cheers.

PS. Chinese artichokes are lovely - they look just like witchetty grubs but are surprisingly easy to rinse clean - sort of ribbed white teflon - but they are almost as rampant as mint, so better in a big container or a plastic-lined trench.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

BarriedaleNick

  • Global Moderator
  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,038
  • Cartaxo, Portugal
    • Barriedale Allotments
Re: Celtuce
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2021, 09:39:25 »
Well Celtuce is on my to buy list now so that means I need to spend 30 or 40€ to get free delivery!!
I have yet to get to grips on what new stuff I can grow here aside from the obvious citrus plants.  We have a kaffir lime and a yuzu we bought with us and have planted kiwi and edible passion fruit.  Looking for guava and I have seen Feijoa plants for sale here and now at least I know what they are.
We have several Loquat trees which the bees love - just hope I do too!
Physalis seems to grow almost wild here in that is self seeded everywhere - thanks to Vinlander a few years back I planted a couple of dwarf ones which did amazingly well in the UK.  The ones here get to an enormous size but still didn't ripen prior to the frost.
So still looking for new stuff to try although as mentioned they are often disappointing..  Cucamelon was no-no for me..
Moved to Portugal - ain't going back!

Vinlander

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,670
  • North London - heavy but fertile clay
Re: Celtuce
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2021, 12:12:09 »
We have several Loquat trees which the bees love - just hope I do too!

I can't reliably grow Loquats - even here in London the flowers face huge risks because they appear in late autumn. There are hundreds round here because they are so ornamental, but I only see fruits about one year in 5-10.

I buy the fruits when they appear in the shops because they are better than apricots - not proper ripe apricots of course, but nobody sells ripe ones because they are almost impossible to ship, and if they are picked early enough to travel they never ripen.

So, very few people know how good a ripe apricot is, and they will continue to buy the rubbish in the shops so there is no pressure to improve.

Exactly the same reasoning applies to shop plums - so they are only good for cooking - the only difference with plums is that they are more common, so small towns can source local ones which are occasionally OK (the ones in London are always rubbish). We are stuck in a vicious circle where firm, crisp but tasteless Asian plum species are no worse and occasionally better than shop "european" plums (actually from Eurasia).

Anyway my point is that loquats are sold while they are firm, but at that stage they are still much better than shop apricots.

You might be interested in the yellow strawberry guava (called Lucida). It has a better taste than the true guava (IMHO but also because it isn't gritty) and though it's rarely bigger than a golf ball, the seeds are to scale so they are at least as enjoyable.

I like the fact that Lucida doesn't have that cat-pee smell when it is half ripe, but more importantly it is much hardier (cold greenhouse) - especially in my cold wet soil (which kills many "exotic" fruits that can survive similar frosts in drier climates).

They might be more common in Portugal, but on the other hand they might be illegal as a pest weed.

You should be in paradise for citrus - but if I was you I'd be buying pitaya amarilla fruit (best of all cacti) and sowing the fresh seeds now in a greenhouse or PT.

Not to mention pluots and plumcots (which actually ripen off the tree - a bit - they arrived in shops the 10 or so years ago but disappeared in the last recession because the divots here won't pay 50% more for 10x the flavour).

Cheers.

PS. OTOH if you do have cold winters as well as hot summers then look up the custard banana (Asimina triloba).

Also I can't recommend CRFG.org enough - their magazine is worth the membership.



« Last Edit: March 03, 2021, 12:24:31 by Vinlander »
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

BarriedaleNick

  • Global Moderator
  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,038
  • Cartaxo, Portugal
    • Barriedale Allotments
Re: Celtuce
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2021, 18:42:26 »
Thanks Vinlander - I'll look out for Lucida and pitaya amarilla.
Loquats are like enormous weeds here, they grow all over the place but I'll wait to see if we get a crop or not as we had a few frosts..

Talking of plums - I used to camp at place in Kent which was essentially a farmer that had given up farming and did B&B, camping etc.
He had an old orchard and I asked if I could take a few of the fallen fruit for jam.  He told me to take the lot if I wanted as he couldn't sell them anymore.  I have no idea of varieties but he had some damsons and quite a few different types - all old English I guess by the age of the trees and absolutely gorgeous, juicy but firm and some almost perfumed.
He said the market wasn't there for them as they didn't travel well and they just weren't what the buyers wanted anymore..
Moved to Portugal - ain't going back!

Obelixx

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,714
  • Vendée, France
Re: Celtuce
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2021, 21:04:32 »
That is so sad.  I had to leave behind a damson tree in my Belgian garden.   Nothing like them here and I really dislike the ubiquitous Mirabelles.
Obxx - Vendée France

Vinlander

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,670
  • North London - heavy but fertile clay
Re: Celtuce
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2021, 12:44:59 »
That is so sad.  I had to leave behind a damson tree in my Belgian garden.   Nothing like them here and I really dislike the ubiquitous Mirabelles.

Over here mirabelles are nothing special - just another name for cherry-plums - so called (I think) for their timing (very early) but not their flavour - ours are much less intense than almost any plum (except maybe some Asian ones), certainly nothing like the intensity or flavour of a cherry.

Basically they are half-wild, too tart for some (not me) - I think most people would regard them as cookers - their best point is they ripen very early and give me a reminder of how good real plums are.

I'm most surprised about you finding so few varieties in your shops - maybe it's timing (if real, sweet Mirabelles are also early) - maybe it's regional?

A large section of our heritage plum varieties come from France - especially gages (called reine-claude in France) - I think my Cambridge Gages are so rich and so close to too-sweet that I could fool someone into thinking they were mini-mangoes...

The other thing that occurs to me is that maybe so many people near you have gardens with plum trees that there's no market for the stale and under-ripe fruit we have to put up with? I see a bit of this when I travel abroad - the smaller the local population density the more it leans towards growing fruit not buying.

Every country thinks about some things in a stupid way and other things in a sensible way. I've always thought the French are sensible about food, whereas we are still mostly stupid about food (especially in the garden) and stupidly obsessed with flowers (especially bloody bedding :BangHead:).

If I moved into a new house a plum tree would be the first thing I'd plant - even if there was nothing in there - I'd say replacing stale plums with fresh is the biggest single gain you can make in gardening - call it low-hanging fruit if you like...

Flowers would be at the very bottom of the list - and there'd be about a hundred edible ornamentals between them and the fruit & veg at the top.

Cheers.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

 

anything