POPSUGAR Celebrity

5 Unusual Spring Greens to Try

May 3 2011 - 5:13am

Spring brings along with it some of our favorite green veggies — asparagus, artichokes [1], fava beans, the list goes on! But amid the bounty showing up at your farmers market these days, don't overlook some of the lesser known greens of Spring. Read on for five green underdogs you've got to get your hands on, stat!

Little Gems

Little gem lettuce is similar to butter lettuce, but with much smaller, crisper, and sweeter leaves. Use them in place of butter lettuce or romaine in a salad with homemade Caesar or buttermilk ranch dressing.

Broccoli Rabe

If you didn't get around to cooking with broccoli rabe [2] in the Winter, you're in luck: this nutty, earthy green is in season from late Winter through Spring, and is actually at its peak right now. Sauté it with garlic and olive oil, or toss it with pasta and chickpeas for a filling and tasty dish.

Wild Nettles

Wild nettles are also known as stinging nettles, and for good reason — notice they're safely tucked into bags at the farmers market! The greens are covered in tiny hairs that cause a sharp stinging sensation when you handle them raw. But don't let that deter you; a quick blanch or sauté takes the sting out, and allows to you blend them into a pesto or use them atop a homemade pizza.

Dandelion Greens

They may look like weeds — and, in fact, they are — but that doesn't mean they aren't delicious. Dandelion greens are the epitome of Spring [3], and can be eaten raw in a salad, sautéed with garlic and olive oil, or simmered in a Spring stew.

Fava Leaves

Fava beans may be a Spring favorite of yours, but did you know the leaves of the fava plant are edible (and tasty!) as well? They're similar to spinach in texture, but their flavor is milder and sweeter, and is reminiscent of fresh sugar snap peas. Use them as you would spinach, and toss them with your favorite salad ingredients for an unusual and tasty lunch.

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