Know Your Salad Greens

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Kitchen Ade

Know Your Salad Greens

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Salads are great any time of the year, and you can even grow your own outdoors and indoors under lights.  Small-leafed greens are excellent for indoor growing.  

Remember to wash salad greens well and drain completely. Invest in a good salad spinnericon to remove excess water after washing, so the salad dressing clings to the leaves.

Leafy green (and other colored) vegetables are excellent sources of fiber as well as vitamin A, iron, calcium, and many other nutrients.  Note that the old fashioned iceberg lettuce has very few nutrients and little flavor, so you won't find it on this page!

Here are some of the most popular salad greens with a description of their flavor and pictures so you can "Know Your Salad Greens".

Popular Salad Greens

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Leaf lettuceLeaf lettuce has a mild, delicate flavor and is versatile for many types of green salads.  Types range from green to red and gold colored varieties.

SpinachSpinach has a mildly hearty flavor and is often used raw in salads.  It also can be stir-fried or lightly steamed.
RadicchioRadicchio can be bitter and peppery-tasting when eaten alone, but small amounts add a nice accent to other greens.  It is very popular in Italian style salads, and also works well lightly steamed and served in a mixed vegetable side dish.
RomaineRomaine has large, crisp leaves and a slightly sharp flavor that make this the classic lettuce for Caesar salad and other strong flavored salad dressings.
Swiss chardSwiss chard has large stems with a delicate flavor similar to celery; leaves have a hearty spinach-like flavor.  It too can be cooked by stir-frying or lightly steaming. ArugulaArugula has a peppery, pungent flavor that is an ideal contrast when mixed with milder greens.  It is also often used steamed or stir-fried.
Curly endiveCurly endive has a mildly bitter flavor and adds visual interest to salads.  The finely cut leaves hold salad dressing particularly well.
mesulunmix.jpg (175x147 -- 7283 bytes)Mesculun mixes contain a number of mixed greens - any of the above as well as skyrocket, mustard leaves, and other small leaf greens.  For the larger growing leaf varieties in the mix, the leaves are meant to be harvested when very small.

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