Salad Greens 101, before oil and vinegar
Salad Greens 101
Types of salad include lettuce and salad greens. The following are the most popular and readily available: Endive, Iceberg lettuce, Romaine lettuce, Green and Red leaf, Oak leaf and Boston. When selecting your salad greens check the stems for rust and pick smaller leaves as they are more delicate in flavour and texture than larger leaves.
A mixture of leaves such as radicchio, arugula, frisee, chicory, baby spinach and endive are grouped under the collective noun Mesculun. Because of their fragility they do not keep for loner than a few days and should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Greens used for cooking are full of flavour and vitamin and calcium. These greens can also be used to create salads if so desired. In the Far East, where the diet is predominantly vegetarian, these types of greens are frequently used as part of the cuisine. They are easy to cultivate in the garden and are robust in cold weather. Common varieties include Swiss chard, kale, beet tops, mustard greens and dandelion.
The best way to cook these greens is to first choose small leaves (larger leaves are known to be tougher), and then wilt by lightly sautéing. This method is preferred to boiling as it retains their natural goodness.
To prepare remove mud from leaves by rinsing thoroughly in a sink or in a colander. If the mud is difficult to remove let the leaves stand in a lot of cold water for a little while in order to loosen the debris. An ideal way to remove excess water is to use a device that spins the salad and leaves your greens perfectly crisp and dry. Wet or damp leaves don’t mix well with oil based dressings for obvious reasons.
The salad leaves are now ready to be stored until needed. Use a muslin or cotton cloth to encase the leaves and place in a plastic bag and refrigerate. Use soon after as possible to enjoy their freshness.
When preparing your salad you should tear leaves into bit sized pieces.
[tag] salad greens prep[/tag]