Time for a New Leaf on Life
The produce aisles are growing and it’s easy to get lost in the sea of green.
Here we'll help you understand who’s who in this edible garden of paradise.
Arugula ~ or rocket as it is sometimes referred to in Europe, has captured the hearts of salad lovers.
Look for dark, flat, serrated leaves shaped like small oak leaves.
It’s either sold in bunches with the roots attached or washed, packaged and ready to eat.
Arugula has a distinctive peppery, nutty, spicy flavor.
And best of all, it contains beta carotene, vitamin-C, calcium and iron.
This torpedo-shaped vegetable is the delicious product of a centuries-old accident.
A Brussels farmer left some chicory roots covered in soil in the cellar, only to discover they had sprouted into a velvety, crisp salad ingredient.
Pair its slightly bitter flavor with sweeter greens or “Waldorf-it” with apples, toasted walnuts and Stilton cheese.
Escarole, Curly Endive & Frisée
Buyer beware, it’s easy to confuse a head of escarole and curly endive with a large head of leaf lettuce.
Curly endive has curlier, rimmed leaves while escarole has slightly curled, pale green leaves.
Frisée is more distinctive, with its finely cut, frizzy pale green-to-white leaves.
All are members of the bitter endive family and just a little goes a long way in a mixed salad.
Also known as lamb’s lettuce, this French favorite is new to the North American palate.
Its nutty, sweet and gentle flavor is a perfect counterpoint to bitter or intense greens.
Look for dark green spoon-shaped leaves clustered in rosettes.
Mâche is sold loose or pre-packaged.
These crimson and white-streaked leaves are found in round balls or in elongated heads (Treviso).
Radicchio is the right ingredient for any salad desperately needing a color pick-me-up.
It’s mildly bitter, but mellows beautifully when grilled.
Dubbed the poor man’s arugula, watercress has cut loose from its stodgy sandwich image and moved into the gourmet arena.
Look for a tangled bunch of coin-sized, dark green leaves on long, slender green stems.
Watercress contains calcium and vitamin-C, with a sharp, slightly peppery tang.
It's also excellent at combating second hand cigarette smoke.
Boston, Bibb or Butter
A head of Boston lettuce resembles a flowering rose while Bibb has a smaller, cup-shaped head.
All have a loose head of blonde-green leaves and possess a soft, buttery texture and a sweet, mild flavor.
Perfect for any leaf salad and any meal.
And, if you're wondering what to have for dinner this evening...
This healthy green salad can be eaten with just about any dressing.
However, it's worth the time to make this dressing for the delicious flavor and added nutritional value.
After you've made this once, you'll want to make the dressing to have on hand in your refrigerator.
It'll store for quite a while and save you time, so you can have this salad often in just minutes.
The silken tofu makes it creamy without dairy, giving your salad a rich taste without a lot of fat.
Non Dairy ~ Creamy Romaine Salad
Prep and Cook Time: 15 minutes
2 med. heads romaine lettuce, outer leaves discarded
1 bunch young dandelion greens, if available
1 med. tomato cut into eighths
3 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
3 med. cloves garlic, pressed
1 Tbs. prepared Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. honey
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
4 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. sunflower seeds
4 oz. silken tofu
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
*** a little water to thin if needed
Blend all dressing ingredients in blender, adding oil a little at a time at end.
Chop, rinse, and dry romaine and dandelion greens.
If you have a salad spinner, that would be best.
If not, no worries, just pat the rinsed greens with paper towels so the dressing doesn't get diluted.
Toss the greens with tomatoes and your desired amount of dressing.
Makes 4 ServingsTweet
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