Mixed Greens / Spring Mix

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Salads have becoming much more confusing over the years.  We have moved from iceberg and romaine to a variety of weeds, leafs, and greens.  Spring mix and mixed greens can be found on even casual restaurant’s menus.  Still the components of these mixtures can be a mystery to even the most knowledgeable foodies.  Some of those greens would even surprise some chefs.

Years ago while working for a restaurant called Paradise Grill a chef taught me to identify these greens.  I was recently asked by a guest about a particular leaf and was stumped.  So as a refresher I have been boning up on my greens knowledge.  Some of these are very interesting, so I decided to share the information with all of you.  This list is by no means comprehensive, but does serve as a good primer to those who are curious.

Arugula

Arugala

Alias: Rocket

Vitamins: Vitamin C and Potasium

Flavor: Strong, peppery

Frisee

Frisée

Alias: Curly Endive

Vitamins: Folate, Vitamins A&K, Fiber

Flavor: Bitter

Notes: From the daisy family.  Closely related to chicory, endive, and escarole

Green Chard

Green Chard

Red Chard

Red Chard

Alias: Swiss Chard

Vitamins:  Vitamins A, K, & C. Fiber and Protein

Flavor: Sweet and Bitter

Notes: Both are versions of Swiss Chard that are harvested early while it is tender

Green Oak

Green Oak Lettuce

Red Oak

Red Oak Lettuce

Alias: Oak Leaf Lettuce

Vitamins: Vitamins A, B, C, D, & E

Flavor: Mild

Notes: This is from the lettuce family.  It’s name is derived from looking like oak tree leaves, but do not come from trees.

Lollo Rosa

Lollo Rosa

Alias: Red Lollo

Nuitrition: Vitamins A & C, Folate, Iron, Antioxidants

Flavor: Mild

Notes: Used more for vitamins and texture than flavor.

Mizuna

Mizuna

Alias: Japanesse Greens, Spider Mustard

Nuitrition: Fiber and Beta Carotene

Flavor: Spicy, Peppery

Notes: Very common in asian cuisine.  Often mistaken for dandelion leaves.

Radicchio

Radicchio

Alias: Italian Chicory

Nuitrition: Vitamins A & C, Fiber, Calcium

Flavor: Bittersweet

Notes: Believed in ancient times to have curative values.  Related to Frisee.

These are nine of the most currently used greens in spring mix or mixed greens salads.  Many more are thrown in on occasion, but these are the most common.  Other greens will be discussed in future posts.  Feel free to use the comment section for any questions or other topics you would like to see in future posts.

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About David Hayden

David Hayden is the creator of The Hospitality Formula Network, a series of websites dedicated to all aspects of the restaurant industry. He is also the author of the book Tips2: Tips For Improving Your Tips and Building Your Brand With Facebook.

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