This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
" Lettuce is not much cooked in this country and when cooked it is not much better than a cabbage; but when raw, and eaten in salad, it has a peculiarly pieasant taste; and has a sedative action upon the nervous system, which makes one return to it eagerly, as one returns to tobacco and to opium. The chemists obtain from the lettuce an inspissated juice - called sometimes lactucarium, sometimes lettuce-opium - which is said to allay pain, to slacken the pulse, to reduce animal heat, and to conduce to sleep".
" Lettuces ought never to be wetted; they lose their crispness, and arc fro tanto destroyed. If you can get nothing but wet lettuces, you had certainly better dry them; but if you wish for a good salad, cut your lettuce fresh from the garden, take off the outside leaves, cut or rather break it into a salad bowl, and then mix".
" Some are now strongly insisting that lettuces should be used more generally as food, and suggesting that they ought to boiled, after which treatment they are said to be as palatable as spinach. If this be the fact, it is worth knowing, as spinach is necessaaily excluded from the diet of the oxaluric patient, and it is precisely in this class of cases the soothing properties of the lettuce, if it have any, would be valuable".
Halves of lettuces tied and stewed, served with consomme separately.
Stewed lettuce chopped and seasoned with cheese, filled into croustades made of rolls hollowed out, sprinkled with cheese, crumbs and butter, browned, served with consomme separately, and grated cheese with it, Stuffed Lettuce - Parboiled, drained, split open, forcemeat or sausage meat inserted, fat pork outside, simmered an hour.