There is a whole world of greens that can add pizzazz to your salads. For starters let’s these wonderful greens provide plenty of zip color, and crunch! The added benefit is that they’re good for you!
Arugula: Also known as “rocket” Peppery arugula mixes well with milder greens. Small leaves are mildest; larger ones are sharper.
Mache: These tender velvety leaves offer a sweet, nutty flavor. Combine with either bitter or mild greens.
Radicchio: Ruby red or reddish purple, these bitter leaves make a pretty contrast with green/greens. they’re best with milder varieties.
Watercress: Small, round, delicate-looking watercress leaves pack a peppery punch. mix them with milder greens.
Bibb Lettuce: These small, tender, crinkled leaves are delicately flavored. Tossing them with other greens brings out their understated taste and texture.
Romaine: Also known as “Cos” has large long red or green leaves with a crunchy “rib” down the middle and a sweet taste. Great alone or in a mix.
Red leaf lettuce: Long, ruffled, red-tipped leaves contribute a mild, sweet taste, gentle texture, whether served alone or with other zesty varieties.
Curly Endive: Often called “chicory” the frilly, dark-green outer leaves are bitter, the pale green inner leaves are sweet. Mix with any greens.
Spinach: Dark green spinach leaves are bold in flavor; delightful eaten alone or with milder greens.
Here are some suggested ways to combine greens and go-withs:
- Combine 6 cups spinach leaves, 3 sliced large mushrooms and 4 slices of red onion, toss.
- Combine 4 small Belgian endive(separating and halving all leaves), 4 cups watercress, 6 cherry tomatoes, and 6 canned artichoke hearts (cut in half) toss.
- Combine 6 cups torn Boston lettuce, 1 medium tomato (cut into eighths), 2 scallions cut into1 inch pieces, 1/2 cup cooked waxed beans, cut into 2 inch pieces and 2 tbs of chopped Italian parsley, toss.
- Combine 4 cups torn iceberg lettuce, 2 grated medium carrots and 1/2 cup green beans cut into 1 inch pieces. Toss
- Combine 5 cups torn leaf lettuce, 1 cup chopped chicory, 1/2 medium red pepper cut into strips, and 1/2 cup of celery cut into 1/2 pieces. Toss
- Combine 6 cups torn bibb lettuce, 15 ounces of steamed asparagus tips, 3 cups of quartered fresh mushrooms. Toss
- Combine 1 diced medium Belgium endive, 1 and 1/2 cups shredded red cabbage, 3 and 1/2 cups torn romaine lettuce, 1 cup carrot curls. Toss
- Combine 5 cups of torn bibb lettuce, 1 14 oz can of hearts of palm (drained and sliced) and 1 cup of radish slices. Toss
You can be creative with your salad dressings, the basic rule of thumb is a 3 to 1 ratio, oil to acid (vinegar, lemon juice etc.) Here are two to get you started.
- Classic vinaigrette. Olive oil, shallots, red wine vinegar, whole grain mustard. Kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper. Combine and mix.
- Tomato Vinaigrette. Ripe tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice or red/white wine vinegar, dash of sugar, Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Add quartered tomatoes to blender, add other ingredients and blend.