Diana Henry, the British food writer and author of Bird in the Hand, has written about her affinity for less-than-crisp lettuces. Of gem lettuces, she says that the leaves "do get slightly bitter as they age, but I like that." Forgot your lettuce in the fridge for a...while? Fear not, she says. Simply "discard a layer (or two) and the leaves underneath are perfect."
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Diana Henry's lettuce soup perks up the greens with some lemon, soft herbs like basil and chervil, and spring onions. Finished with a touch of cream, it's a smart dish that showcases lettuce's surprisingly appealing cooked flavor.