OK, so this is probably a stupid question. What does everyone eat as the "greens" for their salad. I grew up eating iceberg lettuce with a few tomatoes and that was considered a salad. I know that iceberg lettuce is not the best option. Lately I buy a bag of 'mixed salad greens' and ad in some spinach (because I love it!) and then add a lot of toppings like tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, onion, what ever protein I have on hand and sometimes some avocado. I also make my own salad dressing.
What kind of 'greens' do you eat? I am also planning to expand my garden next year so that I can grow more greens for a salad.
Right now, I'm eating a lot of wilted kale salads with cooked beef on top, while waiting for the weather to finish warming up enough for summer salad season to start.
Romaine's a mainstay for me; I love the crunch. It also lasts longer than other lettuces; I can chop up a week's worth of Romaine for Big-Ass Salads, put each salad's worth of lettuce in a gallon-size Ziploc bag, and the lettuce for the last salad of the week is still good by the time I use it five or six days later.
Last year, I grew butter, oak leaf, and a really deep maroon red-leaf lettuce in boxes on my deck, and they were great. I also planted miner's lettuce, which died before I could enjoy much of it--but now it's self-sown and grows rampant all over my yard. I can just go out and cut a bunch whenever I want it. It has a mild flavor.
I also grew herbs last year, and chopped up lots of tarragon, basil, cilantro, dill, and/or Italian parsley straight into my salads, rather than just using a little bit in the dressing. Another one I like a lot is nasturtium; the leaves and the flowers have a peppery flavor to them.
And if your guts can handle raw cabbage, it makes a really tasty salad, too--especially if you let the cabbage marinate in the dressing for a little while before adding the other ingredients.
Mmmmm, salaaaddd...I know what I'm having for dinner tonight...
Try lots of different things. I get most of my greens from a local farmer's market and vendors have let me taste samples of anything I'm unfamiliar with. Recent things I've added because of tasting like this are miner's lettuce (not a real lettuce) and red mizuna. It's fun to discover new tastes.
Some greens I like raw - almost any lettuce, especially romaine and bibb, spinach, watercress, arugula, those really large basil leaves, baby kale, baby collards, baby beet greens, curly endive, radicchio, baby tatsoi, savoy cabbage, red cabbage, cilantro, garlic greens. Some as the base, some of the stronger flavors mostly in smaller quantities. Although I have no problem with huge quantities of cress, arugula and basil. Bring on the flavor!
As far as the garden goes - check with local gardeners, farmers and cooperative extension service to see which greens grow well near you and when to plant. Then go taste testing to make sure you like them before sowing a 25' row.
I hate bagged lettuce--it tastes really weird to me. Anyway, I try to have a variety of texture and color, but like crunchier, so I tend to steer away from spring mix (I also stay away from it because it doesn't last as long in the fridge). Generally, romaine or green leaf, red leaf, radichio, arugula, and curly purple kale. Herbs are great to add, too.
I'm a big fan of chopped watercress. Mix in some fresh herbs, and drizzled with some bacon vinegar dressing and I could eat an entire bag of it!
I've also made a beet salad by slicing the beets thin, sauteeing them until tender, and adding in the beet greens to wilt. Tastes delicious with some salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar :)
romaine, red leaf, green leaf, butter, bibb - we'll get move varieties as the weather gets nicer. other: cabbage- savoy or napa are nice alternatives, too spinach kale - massage it a bit with oil chard arugula radicchio collards beet tops dandelion greens
I also sautee greens for breakfast! Spinach, kale, or collards with a mix of other stuff, like a hot salad I guess. This morning it was tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, 1 duck egg and 2 sausage links. Yum!
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