• Curly endive is attractive, have yellowish-green frilly leaves, have a strong, pleasantly bitter taste.
• Dandelion greens are available in some grocery stores. If you collect them yourself, choose young plants that haven’t been exposed to pesticides.
• Escarole’s flavor varies – lighter-colored portions are mild, but the darker portions of the leave can be bitter.
• Butterhead has a mild buttery flavor that forms into a soft head.
• Romaine is a Caesar salad favorite. Romaine stores well and its course texture holds well in salads.
• Spinach is always a good addition to a salad. Choose young or baby leaves. Savoy spinach has curly leaves but offers the same benefits.
Refrigerate greens within two hours of purchases. Store in a plastic bag or lettuce keeper. It is recommended that one should rinse lettuce under cold water just before using rather than before storage to reduce the risk of spoilage and bacterial growth on the leaves. Some lettuces can be difficult to clean so separate the leaves and immersing them in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes helps. Because lettuce and other salads are perishable, they should be used within one week after purchase.
Bagged salads can be convenient. To reduce the risk of food-borne illness, keep them refrigerated and observe “use by” dates on package. Rinse well before eating, removing any damaged or spoiled leaves.
Kathy Smith is a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent for Parker County. Contact her at (817) 598-6168 or email@example.com.