Name derives from its shape.
Deer's Tongue lettuce is heirloom lettuce that's small to medium in size, averaging 10-15 centimeters in diameter and grows in a loose formation with a connected base. The narrow, pointed, triangular green leaves grow outward and upward wrapping themselves around each other to form a very distinct rosette pattern and have a central, juicy midrib. Though the outer leaves are tender and crisp with a mild, nutty, and sweet flavor, the white inner ribs are crunchy and less palatable, and slightly bitter.
Deer’s Tongue lettuce contains vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, and some potassium and magnesium.
Deer's Tongue lettuce is best suited for raw applications as its crunchy texture, and mild flavor is showcased when used fresh and lightly dressed. The leaves can be torn and used in a salad, layered in sandwiches and burgers, or placed as a garnish on meat such as poultry, steak, or fish. It can also be wrapped in fresh spring rolls for additional crunch. Deer’s Tongue lettuce pairs well with meats such as pork belly, steak, poultry, fish, and bacon, bold and aged cheeses such as Jarlsberg, fruits such as berries, oranges, summer melons, stone fruit, apples, and pears, honey, carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, basil, mint, and walnuts. The leaves will keep for a couple of days when stored in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator and away from ethene gas producing fruits.