Beet Greens: Whether in a green salad or gently steamed, these greens are very flavorful and nutritious. Keep the greens attached to the beets until you cook the beets.
Butterhead lettuce: This is the lettuce to use when you want a delicate salad. Because the leaves are so pliable, they make excellent wrappers. My new favorite cookbook suggests using the inner leaves from the heart as cups for fillings such as crab, shrimp, or chicken salad.
Bietola Chard: An Italian variety of chard with very broad white stems and deep green leaves, which are quite similar to spinach. Cut out stems, slice and stir-fry for a few minutes before adding the leaves.
Braising Greens: A mix of several cooking greens for sauté, soups, stews.
Brassica Florets: A rare treat – these are the tender green shoots of the kale plant. Wonderful in stir-fries, cook them quickly to retain their bright green color and tender crunch.
Carrot Greens: Trim and store them in a plastic bag separately from the roots. If left attached, the greens will continue to draw moisture away from the roots and dry them out. Try the greens in recipes calling for dark leafy greens, such as kale, spinach or collards.
Collard Greens: If you haven’t had the pleasure they have a very mild, almost smoky flavor, and are part of the cabbage family. A cup of cooked collards supply 25% of the daily calcium requirement. Rinse each leaf, fold along the stem length to remove the stem and center vein, too fibrous. Steam or sauté, cook longer than you might other cooking greens. Drizzle cooked greens with olive oil and lemon juice, or try bacon bits or pumpkin seeds tossed on top. Serve steamed collards with black-eyed peas and brown rice for a Southern inspired meal. Use lightly steamed, cooled and chopped collards as a filling in your sushi vegetable rolls. They are excellent in soups and stews since they keep a nice texture. Store for up to 5 days in the fridge.
Collard Sprouts: Collards give us wonderful greens and the sprouts on the collard plant are every bit as good as broccoli heads, just smaller. Sauté, steam, add to a salad.
Dandelion Greens: Slightly bitter, fabulous in salads when the leaves are small. If the leaves are mature you can still add to salads but some people like them cooked instead. Use sooner since they only keep for a few days in the fridge. Very high in Vitamin A.
Escarole: Sweet and tender when cooked. It is in the chicory family so tastes mildly bitter and sweet, the base of Italian salads. The leaves are lightly ruffled.
Frisee: Has curly leaves and is in the chicory family. It has a mildly bitter and sweet taste and forms the base for Italian salads. Frisee takes well to fragrant nut oils, shallots, and sharp vinegars. It also pairs well with citrus, apples, pears, walnuts, hazelnuts, and blue cheeses.
Happy Rich: A sprouting broccoli. The flowers, florets, stems, and leaves are all delicious. Prepare as a raw salad, gently stir-fry or steam.
Italian Kale: Dinosaur skin textured leaves.
Joy Choy: Basically a white stemmed bok choy. Only the base should be discarded. The stems have a great texture and flavor. Try braising in a combination of chicken stock, butter, soy sauce, and sesame oil.
Kale Raab: This is the flowering tops of the kale. It is tender and almost sweet. It is only available in the spring when overwintering kale is going to seed. It is wonderful sautéed, braised, stir-fried, grilled or raw in hearty salads.
Mei Qing Choy: Like bok choy, it has the large meaty stems but they are pale green where bok choy stems are white. Only the base should be discarded. The stems have a great texture and flavor. For a fresh way to enjoy choy, try slicing it thin and dress as a raw salad.
Mesclun Salad: A tasty and pretty mix of salad greens, but be aware that red leaf lettuce is more tender and it will wilt before the other greens. That multi-leaf green is chickweed, formerly considered troublesome. Now it is known as good tasting and healthy for us. Cool – less weeding for us!
Mizuna Greens: This is an Asian green that is purple tinged with deeply serrated leaves. Try it fresh in salads, on sandwiches or in stir-fries.
Mustard Greens: They are best kept simple. Remove the center vein and cook in a skillet with a little oil, water and garlic. Finish with a splash of soy sauce, or better yet pepper sauce (hot peppers in vinegar).
Raab: The flowering tops of brassicas, raab is tender and almost sweet, wonderful sautéed, braised, stir-fried, grilled or raw in hearty salads.
Radish Greens: Don’t toss them, they are good in salads or cooked.
Red Leaf Lettuce: Red leaf lettuce is very tender so enjoy it quickly.
Red Romaine Lettuce: This variety is pretty and tasty but also seems to easily wilt. Just stick the stem end in water in the refrigerator and it will come right back.
Romaine Lettuce: It may be the oldest form of cultivated lettuce – an elongated head of dark green, narrow, stiff leaves – the lettuce for Caesar salad.
Russian Kale: has smooth, deep-toothed leaves.
Senposai: A cross between Japanese Mustard Spinach and regular cabbage. Resembles collard greens, but the texture of its leaves is tender and more like lettuce. Raw, the leaves have a mild mustardy taste which disappears when cooked. Cooked, it is a sweet flavored green. Use this versatile green as you might any cooking green: in sauté, soup, green drink, sandwiches. It is very tender and requires cooking only for a few minutes! Store in open or perforated plastic in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Rinse well before cutting or tearing to size for your recipe.
Sessantina Grossa: A sprouting broccoli. The florets, leaves, and stems are to be eaten. A mild flavor for raw salads and gentle sauté.
Spigariello Liscia Kale: A most unusual kale, this variety tastes like broccoli. The leaves are small and there are florets – similar to raab. Discard the bottom inch of the stem. Steam, stir fry, or include in a raw salad.
Turnip Greens: A milder flavor than mustard greens. Trim and store them in a plastic bag separately from the turnips. Try the greens in recipes calling for dark leafy greens, such as kale, spinach or collards.