Anna and Kristina's Grocery Bag Looks at Salad Greens
OWN TV | January 04, 2011
Steer clear of the iceberg! The concepts of better health, tastier dinners and locally sourced ingredients come together in your salad bowl...if you know about lettuce greens.
Adding salad greens to your menu can be a big part of eating lighter and buying local ingredients, but those bags of premixed organic baby greens can get a little expensive for a Wednesday night. Instead, learn the basics of greens, which are available in almost every supermarket. Plus, leaves from whole heads cost less and stay fresher longer.
Romaine the "Caesar salad lettuce is dark green, very firm and crunchy. It keeps very well, and its tough, tight heads ship and transport without damage.
Green and red leaf lettuce varieties are sweet and tender. Because their heads can be quite large, you'll get great value for your money.
Frisee, curly endive and tango lettuces are frilly and very chewy greens that add crunch to a salad. They tend to work better in tandem with tender greens, creating a variety of textures. Chop them in smaller pieces.
Arugula and watercress add a spicy kick to tasty side salads. Their strong bite is usually too much for a main course salad.
More Salad Tips Discard all bruised and discolored leaves. Think of the outer leaves on a head of lettuce as if they're packaging, or a banana peel. If a leaf looks old or broken, don't hesitate to discard it.
Rinse and dry all greens. They'll be fresher, crisper and safer to eat.
The darker and more bitter the salad green looks, the better it will be for you. Mix strongly flavored and colorful greens like arugula and radicchio with milder greens. The popular tricolore salad---made with arugula, radicchio and endive---follows this model.
Don't forget about herbs in your salad! Basil, cilantro and parsley are all great when added to a salad mix.