The Skinny on... Salad Greens

There’s a lot more to salad greens than packaged mixes or a head of iceberg lettuce. Here's how to go green.
Salad GreensThe Skinny On
From arugula to watercress, in varied shapes and shades, greens are versatile both raw and cooked. Here’s what you need to know about choosing, using and enjoying this year-round standard.
Bibb lettuce
Butterhead
Butterhead lettuces, such as Boston and Bibb, make a sweet, mild salad — a good match with simple dressings, berries, stone fruits and mild vegetables.
Iceburg lettuce
Crisphead
Crisphead lettuces like the classic iceberg have a slightly acidic, clean taste, best with creamy dressings.
Greenleaf lettuce
Loose-leaf
Loose-leaf lettuces like red leaf, green leaf or oak leaf lettuce offer a mild, grassy taste and a soft texture, good as a second fiddle to more robust or crisper greens
Romaine lettuce
Long-leaf
Long-leaf lettuces like romaine provide crunch with a slightly bitter flavor, great with creamy dressings or against softer, sweeter greens like red leaf lettuce.
Arugula
Arugula
A microgreen with a peppery bite, sometimes overwhelming on its own, especially when the leaves are larger.
Mache
Mâche
A mild, sweet microgreen that pairs extremely well with tomatoes
Mizuna
Mizuna
A Japanese variety of microgreen, very tart and best paired with crunchy greens like torn-up romaine.
Sorrel
Sorrel
A very bitter microgreen, best only with very strong dressings (Roquefort, anyone?) or braised with other vegetables in soups, stews and stocks. Raw, it should be eaten in moderation since its high oxalic-acid content can cause an upset stomach.
Watercress
Watercress
A mustardy microgreen that’s great in sandwiches (so long as you remove any tough, woody stems).
Belgian Endive
Belgian endive
Crunchy and bitter, it’s a good foil to sweeter greens (despite its name, it’s actually a chicory-like radicchio, grown in the dark to prevent its turning green).
Curly Endive
Curly endive
Like the French favorite, frisée, these are lacy, floppy greens that offer a pungent, chewy backdrop to crisp bacon or radishes
Dandelion Greens
Dandelion greens
Aggressively bitter, they can also be braised, as you would collard or mustard greens.
Escarole
Escarole
An Italian favorite, a bitter punch often cooked in soups and stews
Raddichio
Radicchio
A red chicory, it has a pleasant bitterness often mixed with romaine. Spearlike heads are less bitter than the more familiar, rounded heads.

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