The Most Flavorful Salad Greens

Full of texture and bursting with flavor, expertly-dressed salad greens are anything but boring.

| May/June 2007

Italian-Style Arugula Salad
Salad of Strawberries and Watercress
Mixed Lettuces with Pears, Fennel, Walnuts and Parmesan
Arugula, Beet and Feta Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Tasty Taco Salad

In kitchen and garden, America is finally discovering the goodness of greens. Restaurants, supermarkets, farmers’ markets, and urban, suburban and country gardens across the land overflow with greens, from radicchio to mizuna to rainbow-hued chard. Even five years ago, most of these greens weren’t grown on a commercial scale, and many weren’t easy to find in seed catalogs. Now there’s such an array from which to choose, dinner becomes a decision-making process.

Many factors contribute to this rediscovery of greens. A renewed interest in healthy foods, especially those high in fiber and antioxidants, has been fueled by medical research.

Our immigrant populations have brought their favorite greens with them, and we are enjoying those treats in ethnic markets and restaurants.

Salad greens are a quick and easy crop to grow – even in small spaces or containers – and the turnaround from seed to harvest is fast. Last but not least is the desire to present flavorful, healthy and beautiful food, a trend inspired by the growing number of food professionals on the airwaves and in bookstores.

Be Picky, Picky, Picky

Fresh greens should be lively looking, not limp, wilted or bug-eaten. Most greens should not show any yellow. Yellow-green types, such as Belgian endive and curly mustard, should not show any brown. Lettuces and other salad greens have a great range of colors, but well-grown and properly stored ones do not have brown spots or stems.

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