This year, along with a mesclun mix, arugula, mache, and the tender green and red leaf lettuces, I planted several heads of romaine. It is not my favorite lettuce for salad; I have become spoiled by having baby arugula, spinach, and assorted greens and lettuces. As a replacement for bread, though, it is far and away the best lettuce. It’s flavor is green enough, but unobtrusive. It’s shape and sturdiness make it easy to use as an alternative for tortillas, pancakes (think mushu tofu), or pita or other flat bread. Tonight, I picked several leaves of romaine, which I rolled around sprouts, avocado, and sweet and spicy tofu (saute onions until golden; crumble and saute firm, silken tofu; stir in until just hot and thickened, a bar-b-que-like sauce of tomato paste, molasses, apple cider vinegar, garlic, Bragg’s amino liquid or soy sauce, chili sauce–proportioned to taste).
Which lettuce works when depends on all the other elements of the meal. One is not better than the other in the abstract, though you might have a taste for one more than another. One type might be better for a particular meal. So too, we each have our place in the web, and will be better aligned when we offer certain aspects of ourselves at particular places and times. Part of the discrimination (viveka) we learn in yoga to serve us in this life is developing an understanding of how best we can serve and where and when.