Little Gem is a small lettuce often described as a combination of Butter lettuce and Romaine'. It is crisp, like Romaine, and sweet, like Butter lettuce, but the texture and the flavor are still their own. While Romaine has a heavy very crunchy central stalk and thin crisp leaves, classic Little Gem has a thinner stalk and thicker leaves which seem juicier and more substantial than any part of Romaine.
Little Gem works well in mixed salads, and in sandwiches. The size and texture of the leaf particularly suit the open-faced sandwich. A classic use for this lettuce is to cut it in half lengthwise and serve each half, dressed, as a salad. With care, a tight head of Little Gem can be cut into six or eight 'fingers', which would be suitable for dipping; a bowl of separated leaves could also be put out for this purpose: the ruffled texture will pick up any dip or dressing.
Store in the vegetable or crisper compartment of a refrigerator, either in a loose plastic bag or lettuce keeper.