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Lettuce Basil – Perfect for Sandwiches

July 01, 2010
Large Crinkly Lettuce Leaf Basil

Large Crinkly Lettuce Leaf Basil

When summer heat kicks in, I tend to do a lot less cooking. Instead we eat a lot of cold salads and sandwiches. Even when we’re still in the cool, early weeks of a Pacific NW summer, salad goodies like lettuce, beets, carrots and radishes are abundant. And, we’re lucky to have a greenhouse where we can kick start growth of heat lovers like basil, tomatoes and cucumbers.

This year, I seeded three kinds of basil – Genovese, Fine Verde and Lettuce Leaf. All are growing strong in the greenhouse, which we don’t heat. We’ve begun pinching out tips of the Genovese, enjoying it tossed in salads or mixed with garlic-infused olive oil. The Fine Verde, which has tiny leaves that pack a spicy punch, is a little slower to produce much for harvest. But, soon we’ll have more than we know what to do with. Fortunately, the Lettuce Leaf Basil is quite the opposite of the Verde offering enormous leaves with mild basil flavor, which we’re picking now.

Lettuce leaf basil is a fantastic one to grow for sandwiches. Because the flavor is mild and the leaf form is huge, just a few leaves can fill out even a large sandwich quickly. It adds the texture of leaf lettuce while packing a tasty basil punch to brighten up your sandwich flavors.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy Basil lettuce is on this simple modified caprese sandwich:


Lettuce Leaf Basil Caprese Sandwich on Homemade Baguette

Lettuce Leaf Basil Caprese Sandwich

(serves 2)

  • 1 baguette, divided in half, sliced and toasted lightly
  • 6-8 leaves lettuce leaf basil
  • mild chevre goat cheese
  • fresh tomato, thinly sliced
  • olive oil infused with crushed garlic (or garlic scapes)
  • fresh ground pepper

Brush toasted baguette lightly with garlic-infused olive oil. Spread one side of toast with thin layer of chevre. Top with sliced tomatoes, a grind of fresh pepper and a single layer of lettuce leaf basil. Slice. Eat!

(Modifications: Omit chevre and replace with slices of brie and thin slivers of sweet red onion. Place briefly under broiler to melt brie. Top with tomato and basil.)


  1. redmenace says:

    Wow! I’ve never heard of this type of basil. Thank you for the introduction. Looks delish!!!!

  2. […] genovese, lettuce leaf and fine verde basils I harvested this morning were washed, spun and placed in a freezer bag. As I […]

  3. Barbara Thomason says:

    I love the lettuce basil. PLEASE tell me where to purchase the plants.

  4. Barbara Thomason says:

    Love the lettuce basil also on salads . Great garnish !

  5. Renee’s Garden Seed offers seed for ‘Salad Leaf’ basil. And, check higher end nurseries this time of year (May/June) for starts.

  6. tiffka says:

    I have a lettuce leaf basil plant that’s been in bloom all summer.the smell of the blossoms are fantastic! I also discovered humming birds love them too.

  7. Very cool about the hummingbirds Tiffka!

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