A Field Guide to Salad Greens

From the bitter bite of zesty arugula to the cool, crisp crunch of iceberg, our guide to greens will help you use any local harvest to build a better salad.

| May/June 2011


  • Photo By Povy Kendal Atchison

When greens are at their peak, even our favorite go-to salads can get boring. But by taking advantage of greens’ wide array of textures, flavors and colors, then adding our favorite fruits and veggies, we can create an almost limitless number of yummy meal combinations. Try the classics such as mushrooms, radishes, tomatoes and onions; the flavorful burst of whole berries or peas; the bold taste of roasted beets, marinated artichokes or olives; or the garden touch of freshly picked herbs or edible flowers. For a heartier meal, add shredded or crumbled cheese, sliced avocado, hard-boiled eggs, grilled chicken, smoked fish, beans, edamame, or toasted nuts and seeds. Understanding the differences in greens will help you build a foundation for limitless taste combinations.

Greens Glossary 

Our guide ranges from common lettuces to wild-harvested bitter greens. You will find many of these options at farmer’s markets, and most are easy to grow.

Arugula: Tender, bitter, peppery



Beet Tops: Best when young; sweet, juicy, purple-splashed leaves

Bladder Campion: Silvery-green shoots with tiny pods (bladders); nutty flavor; wild-harvested



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