No salad week would be complete without a glossary of greens. The base and heart of any salad, greens are crisp, healthy, and when properly paired and dressed, absolutely delicious. Never store leafy vegetables in a wet plastic bag because they will rot quickly. Vegetables need moisture and air to survive, so store in the fridge in a loosely wrapped paper towel in an open plastic bag. When kept properly, greens should store for about 3-5 days in the fridge. When purchasing greens look for brightly colored, perky looking leaves and steer clear of any with brown spots, yellowed edges, or limpness. If you are unsure of the difference between radicchio and red leaf lettuce, refer to my greens glossary which you will find when you
Mesclun: A salad mixture of small, young salad greens. It can include lettuce, spinach, arugula, frisée, Swiss chard, mustard greens, endive, dandelion, sorrel. The name mesclun comes from Southern French mescla "to mix." It is also commonly known as mixed salad.
Spinach: With deep, dark green leaves, this vegetable is great mixed with other greens, as a salad, or cooked. It has a slightly bitter taste and wilts down to a much smaller quantity when cooked.
Romaine: A type of lettuce that grows in a long narrow head of leaves. Excellent for salads and sandwiches. Caesar salads made this green tremendously popular.
Red Leaf: A leafy green that grows from a stalk with a decorative frilled red edge. Great on sandwiches or in salads, this lettuce also works well as a decorative garnish to plates of cheese, salumi, and vegetables.
Green Leaf: Another leafy green that is used for salads and in sandwiches. These greens provide a crispy texture and mellow taste.
Iceberg: The least favored salad lettuce is a crisp headed green with light colored leaves that are densely packed. Best served as a wedge with bacon bits and a decadent drizzle of blue cheese dressing.
Arugula: Dark green leaves with a tangy, peppery flavor. Also called rocket, this green belongs to the mustard family, can be used in salads, rice and pasta dishes, and as a topping on pizza.
Bibb: A buttery lettuce with a tapered head and light green leaves. Makes a scrumptious salad.
Radicchio: A bitter green from the chicory family. The leaves have a vibrant burgundy-red color with white ribs. Used in salads and tastes great grilled or roasted.