Whether we’re aiming to highlight seasonal ingredients or balance out a rich meal, a bowl of crisp greens beckons us.We especially love how all the nooks and crannies of the ruffled leaves hold onto whatever delicious dressing we’ve whipped up.We love tossing green leaf lettuce with seasonal ingredients, as in this Chopped Salad with Sweet Potato, Apple, and Blue Cheese, or using them in place of bread in our Korean Chicken Lettuce Wraps.Napa cabbage, with its crinkly leaves and elongated shape, has a milder and somewhat sweeter flavor than regular green cabbage and is a nice crunchy change of pace from your regular leafy green.Frisee and chicory are similar greens, both spiky and a little bitter, and, as a result, ultra nutritious.The cool crunch of Romaine makes it a favorite for light, summery salads.Wholesome baby spinach salads were all the rage in the first decade of the 2000s, often topped with everything from sweet fruit to crunchy nuts.Anyway, there’s a reason that food trends happen, and this is one we’d like to continue, especially when we pair the green with strawberries, almonds, and a balsamic vinaigrette as in our Flank Steak with Strawberry-Spinach Salad. .

The Top 14 Healthiest Greens for Your Salad

While slightly higher in calories than other greens, cooked kale provides about 14 percent of your daily requirement for calcium, which is essential for building and maintaining strong bones.“It's simple to prepare sauteed with some onions and garlic, amazing baked into ‘chips,’ and makes a great base for a salad.” For the salad, if you chop the kale into small pieces or allow it to sit in the dressing for a little bit before eating (or both), it becomes more tender, she explains. .

A Guide to Salad Greens

You can't help but feel great when you're eating a big, healthy, vibrant green salad.Salad greens are a great source of vitamins, especially A, C, and K. Many are high in iron, some even have surprising amounts of calcium.Now you'll have no reason not to grab a salad and laugh alone while eating it.Keep loose leaves like baby spinach, watercress, and arugula in a more tightly-sealed plastic bag.Kale can be stored in a loose bag without wrapping, but keep it in the coldest part of your fridge--and use it as soon as you can after buying it.We like to top our salad greens with something sweet (like fruit), something crunchy (like nuts), something pungent or salty (like cheese), and then use a nice, light dressing flavored with fresh herbs (like vinaigrette).Lettuces.Lettuce grows in all shapes and sizes, but generally falls into one of two categories: head lettuce or loose-leaf lettuce.Some of the more well-known varieties of lettuce are:.Popular varieties include Bibb, Boston and red butter lettuce.Its mildly sweet, delicate taste and nice, crisp bite make it the perfect lettuce for sandwiches and burgers.Recipe to try: Autumn Salad.Romaine // Arguably the king of salad greens (and certainly one of the most popular), romaine boasts a light, almost grassy taste and a satisfying crunch.It's THE green for Caesar salads and the perfect wrapper for all kinds of delicious fillings.No matter what they're called, their bold flavors and robust composition mean chicory greens pair well with more assertive flavors.Popular varieties include:.Belgian endive // Thanks to its elegant, sturdy leaves, endive is excellent for appetizers--just nudge a little dip into each leaf’s “cup," and set the leaves out for easy finger food.Its sweet flavor--with just a hint of bitterness--also makes it a wonderful addition to salads.Its feathery, pale green leaves have a nice, bitter bite, making it a popular addition to salad mixes.Recipe to try: Frisee Salad with Pears, Hazelnuts, Blue Cheese, and Cranberry Mustard Vinaigrette.The many varieties of kale--such as curly, baby, lacinato--help ensure it'll never get old even if you eat it several days a week.Mizuna // A Japanese mustard green, this petite, spiky-edged leaf has mingled in mesclun mixes for ages.From forager favorite purslane to the ever-popular spinach, here a few more delicious salad greens:.Its tiny, lightly velvety leaves taste sweet and almost nutty, lending itself to a variety of salad preparations.But it's so common--you can find several pre-mixed salad bags and boxes in just about any grocery store in North America--that we thought we'd cover it here.It can contain any number of salad-friendly greens ranging in tastes from neutral to bitter and from feathery to crunchy textures.When you're not sure which green to use in a salad, just go for a bag of mesclun--it'll usually get you there.Often described as "juicy" and "lemony," tiny purslane leaves make up a unique salad all on their own, or they add wonderful flavor when scattered amongst other greens.There are a few varieties out there, but the spinach most of us are familiar with--both smaller-leaved baby spinach and full-grown spinach--has smooth, sturdy, deep green leaves.Recipe to try: Quinoa Avocado Spinach Power Salad or Green Orange Dreamsicle Smoothie.


18 Types of Lettuce and the Best Ways to Eat Each One

Whether you're using them raw or cooked, though, different types of lettuce can add quite a bit of texture and flavor to whatever you're making.Butterheads are also round, but the leaves are more loose and have a smoother texture than those of their crisphead cousins.Want to get to know each type of salad green?Arugula. .

12 Best Green Salad Recipes – A Couple Cooks

They pair with just about any main dish, from pasta to pizza to salmon to chili.It’s deceptively difficult to find good side salad recipes.Browsing for recipes online can take too long; it feels like you’re in a bargain store trying to comb through sweaters to find the just right thing to wear. .

Best Simple Tossed Green Salad

A big extended family who I just spent the holidays with and who never cease to amaze me with their kind hearts and spirits.As I’ve tried to show all my readers on this blog, you don’t have to put in a ton of time and ingredients to end up with an amazing meal.So to that end, here are the ways in which I’ve changed this salad around while not making it overly complicated.Make it Mexican : Swap pepitas for sunflower seeds and add chopped tomatoes, black olives, finely diced jalapenos, and a sprinkling of queso fresco.For the dressing, use mayo, cayenne pepper, garlic and lime juice like I did in this Mexican Street Corn Salad .Add in sliced kalamata olives, halved cherry tomatoes, and a dash of each thyme, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper before tossing the salad.Add a can each of drained, diced pineapple chunks and mandarin oranges, ham instead of (or in addition to) the bacon, and slivered almonds instead of sunflower seeds.To this end, I like to add a bag of sliced Brussels sprouts and cabbage to the greens for starters. .

Lettuce Teach You: A Rundown on 14 Common Greens

Regardless of the type of greens you buy, make sure to select the freshest ones possible and avoid any that are wilted, bruised, or discolored.It has a slightly bitter flavor and crisp texture, and it’s one of the few salad greens we routinely cut rather than tear, removing whole leaves from the head and slicing them crosswise into bite-sized pieces.Chicory is a head of loose, feathery, bright green, bitter leaves, with a somewhat chewy texture.A large, round, tightly packed head of pale green leaves, iceberg lettuce is crisp and crunchy with minimal flavor.Looseleaf lettuce is a ruffled dark red or deep green, and its leaves grow in big, loose heads.Radicchio grows as tight heads of red or deep purple leaves streaked with prominent white ribs.Romaine heads have stiff and deep green leaves and boast a mild, earthy flavor.Watercress features delicate, dark green leaves with tough bitter stems that should be removed.For textural contrast in this easy summer salad, we relied on the crunch of sliced Belgian endive and Fuji apple matchsticks. .

Simple Green Salad Recipe

years of blogging, I haven’t shared a simple green salad until today.I toss in avocado for creamy richness, Parmesan cheese for nutty, salty flavor, and tamari roasted almonds for crunch.It pairs just as nicely with pasta as it does with a veggie burger, and it tastes great with classic brunch fare too.If you need a last-minute side dish to round out your Easter menu this weekend, this green salad would be perfect.After I prep my greens, I finish this recipe with thinly sliced cucumbers, avocado, shaved Parmesan, and savory roasted nuts.It’s a fantastic combination – the cucumbers are crisp and refreshing, the avocado is rich and creamy, the Parmesan is salty, and the toasted almonds and pumpkin seeds add a delicious crunch.Because you’re working with tender lettuces and avocado, which has a tendency to brown, this salad is best if you assemble it right before you eat.You can also roast the nuts ahead of time and store them, loosely covered, at room temperature.Round out the meal with something sweet, like Chocolate Chip Muffins, Blueberry Scones, Cinnamon Rolls, or a stack of pancakes or French toast. .

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