Welcome to my #summerofsalads post number TWO! Today, we talk greens. Yes, salads can be made without the use of greens, but the type of “salads” we eat most, are those where the base is some sort of greens. Later on we’ll talk about pasta, grain, legume & other non-greens salads. I had hoped to include dressings in the post, but there are so many variables that need to be discussed when it comes to dressings, that I am saving that post for next week. The picture above, is what we are growing on our garden this year. We’ve tried many different types of greens, my favorites always being the leafy varieties you see above.
While doing some research for this post, I came across this fantastic website, www.fithiphealthy.com and this great photo highlighting the basic garden greens that can be used for salads. To read more on these greens, visit the post here. Photo courtesy of Lithe©.
Alright, probably the best known salad greens next to Iceberg (which I am not going to talk about…) is the Romaine lettuce. It’s a popular one in our house, because I can get the kids to eat it (which is always a win) and it’s very versatile. Most commonly known in a Caesar salad, it’s crunchy, juicy & lasts a good while in the fridge. Have you ever had it grilled? I did, once. Not entirely sure, even to this day, if I liked it or not. You have to be careful not to grill it too long though, as it will quickly wilt. Hmmm, you’ll have to try it and let me know what you think!
This pretty little Leaf lettuce variety can be found not only in many salads, but also is a popular choice on many sandwiches you’ll find as well. Lighter than Romaine, heat really affects this lettuce. You’ll want to make sure you have it wrapped in paper towels as you store it, to keep all the moisture away, as it will quickly turn on you if not.
Butter lettuce….I love this cute little lettuce! You’ll find it in tight little round heads, and is a perfect blend of crunchy, soft, smooth leaves. (it sounds so strange referring to lettuce that way!) You can also use this to garnish sliders or other sandwiches, in addition to using in your salad.
We eat a ton of Spinach in our house. I love how you can have it in a nice salad, maybe with a warm bacon vinaigrette, or, toss it in a pan, with olive oil, salt, pepper & garlic and eat as a side dish or add to pasta etc. You can make dips out of it. You can stuff meat with it. The possibilities are endless when it comes to Spinach! What’s your favorite way to eat it?
I would be remiss if I didn’t include Kale in my list of greens. Are you sick of (hearing about) Kale yet? I’m not, but, I have a confession to make. I have not ever, yep, ever, eaten it in a salad! What?!?! Yes, yes, I know. I’ve always cooked it. And a couple of times I made chips out of it. I am not into smoothies, but I hear its great there too! My promise to you is this; I will have it as a salad sometime this summer! In fact, my hubby is growing a variety in our garden this year, so I know we’ll be eating lots of it! 🙂
So another great way to enjoy a variety of greens in your house, is to buy them in those big plastic boxes you’ll see at the grocery store. Companies have gotten really creative in their offerings as well, as you’ll see Organic Girl has a cool blend called Five Happiness that has Chinese baby bok choy and other delicious & delicate baby greens. This way is also fast, as they are usually washed and ready to eat! Just be sure when you open the box for the first time, you place a paper towel or two inside the box to help wick away moisture from the greens.
So there you have it…..a good start to your “greens” education! I encourage you to visit the sites I linked to, as there are lots more delicious greens out there that I didn’t even talk about (radicchio, arugula, watercress, endive, oak leaf…and so on!) and are definitely worth checking out yourself!
Thanks for reading this #summerofsalads post & I hope you’ll join me next week! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s #summersippers post!