What are the best salad greens? There are many salad vegetables, and greens that can be used for salads, including; arugula, butter lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, collards, endive, escarole, kale, and much more. The various types of salad greens come from a variety of plants. For millions of Americans each year, salad greens and other leafy greens are a versatile and healthy addition to diets. They are enjoyed by many as a component of daily food intake.
What Did The Chef Tell Us?
We asked the chef about what salad vegetables work best for a salad. The chef said that using butter lettuce is a good start then the next thing to add would be goat cheese, endive, and kale.
With so many different types and varieties of salad greens available, the combinations of components you can create are limitless. A variety of flavors and textures will inspire your taste buds with endless possibilities.
Lettuces come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Nearly all can be used for salads. Some popular ones include Butter (Boston & Bibb), Romaine, Red Leaf (not pictured), Green Leaf, Arugula (rocket), and others that are not pictured.
The lacy and fragile leaves of arugula have a peppery bite. That edge makes it ideal for the most basic salads–just greens and vinaigrette–and seemingly irresistible to yuppies in the 1990s. Aside from the history, we enjoy piling new greens on top of freshly baked pizza, much like the Italians do.
Napa cabbage has a milder, somewhat sweeter taste than regular green cabbage and is a good crunchy change of speed from the regular leafy green. In several Asian salads, it takes center stage.
Free & Chicory
Free and chicory are related greens that are both spiky and bitter and very nutritious. We like to mix these two greens with thicker, heartier ingredients, much like escarole. They can seem fragile, but meat, hot cream cheese, and purple potato are no match for them.
Escarole is a gritty green with firm leaves that can hold up to various full-bodied foods, such as bacon or heavy dairy foods. We love it when it’s mixed with warm food items.
In the first decade of the new millennium, healthy baby spinach salads were all the rage, with everything from sweet berries to crunchy nuts on top. Spinach has an earthy flavor which, like escarole, shines when topped with warm ingredients. Anyway, food trends happen for a cause, and we’d like to see this one persist, particularly when we combine it with berries, nuts, and a balsamic vinaigrette.
Iceberg lettuce is nice, crunchy lettuce that belongs on every lettuce list. Though it misses the nutritional benefit of a red leaf or arugula, we believe it compensates with old-school beauty. It adds a satisfying crunch to a slice when paired with it. Plus, it stays in the fridge for a long time, so you’ll still have a vegetable on the side.
The salad greens provide essential vitamins and minerals, are low in calories, and are an easy, tasty way to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Whether we use them as stand-alone recipes or add them to a meal, adding salad greens opens up a wealth of opportunities to make healthy eating fun, easy, and delicious.