I bought some lettuce stem for a Chinese stir-fry that I ended up not making. This is a vegetable that I learned to cook while I was in Chengdu. I have always called and thought about it as lettuce stem, but its proper name is celtuce (orwōsŭn; 莴笋 ; asparagus lettuce).
The celtuce stem has a thick fibrous outer layer that must be completely removed to get to the tender core within. The stem has a taste and texture a bit like celery and the leaves at the top look like Romaine lettuce. My celtuce was starting to look sad, so I decided that I had to do something with it. Since I was doing a Japanese meal, pickles seemed the way to go.
Click here for this recipe: http://jabberwockystew.net/2015/09/20/karls-celtuce-pickles/