Sucrine (Bibb, Boston, or Little Gem) lettuce
The sucrine is a type of cultivated lettuce. It is a small lettuce with a slightly elongated shape with thick, serrated, and fleshy leaves. In France, it is mainly grown in the Midi (south) region, where it is also known as « craquerelle du Midi ». Its wavy, crisp, and subtly sweet leaves, from which it takes its name, are suitable for salads, or as a hot garnish that can be pan-fried or braised.
Sucrine lettuce is sold in trays or packets containing three to six heads in both supermarkets and fruit and vegetable dealers. Choose heads with very green leaves and a white stem (stalk). Avoid yellowed leaves. Sucrine du Berry is a type of squash and bears no relation to this lettuce.
Wash the lettuce to remove any impurities (soil, sand, insects) before drying.
Sucrine lettuce can be pan-fried or braised to accompany meat and fish dishes.
Sucrine lettuce is eaten raw, dressed with a good vinaigrette, by itself or in a mixed salad, or as a garnish for carpaccio or steak or salmon tartare. If braised or pan-fried with a little olive oil, its combines well with both meat and fish, shellfish, beans, and cereals.
Lettuce can keep for several days in the vegetable crisper drawer of the refrigerator, but the best option is to eat is fresh on the same day. Sucrine lettuce can be frozen, but only if it is to be cooked afterward (it becomes soggy when thawed).
Like all types of lettuce, sucrine has very few calories or B-group vitamins. It contains good amounts of minerals and carotenes, and a small amount of vitamin C. Being crispy, it gives the sensation of being filling.