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Salad Greens



arugula [uh-REW-guh-la] = arrugola = (in Britain ) rocket (salad) = tira = Italian cress = Mediterranean rocket = rugola = rugula = roquette = rucola   With its peppery and slightly bitter flavor, arugula is a terrific green to throw into an otherwise boring salad.  It can be gently braised, too.  Some supermarkets sell it in small bunches, but you're more likely to find it combined with other greens in a spring salad mix.   Equivalents:  1 cup = 1 ounce  Substitutes:   watercress OR tender spinach leaves plus dash of ground pepper OR Belgian endive OR escarole OR young dandelion greens (more bitter) OR young mustard greens OR chicory OR radicchio


Belgian endive = French endive = witloof  = witloof chicory = chicory (in Britain) = Belgium chicory = blanching chicory = Dutch chicory = green-leaved blanching chicory = chicon   Notes:  These crunchy, slightly bitter leaves are often used to make hors d'oeuvres, but they can also be chopped and added to salads, or braised to make an exquisite (and expensive) side dish.  Select heads with yellow tips; those with green tips are more bitter.   Their peak season is the late fall and winter. Substitutes:  radicchio (similar flavor) OR arugula OR watercress 

Bibb lettuce = limestone lettuce   Notes:  This butterhead lettuce has delicate, loose leaves and lots of flavor.  The only downside is that it's usually expensive.   Substitutes:  Boston lettuce (larger) OR corn salad OR leaf lettuce OR celery leaves  

Boston lettuce  Notes:  This is a type of butterhead lettuce, with soft, tender leaves.  It's terrific in salads and sandwiches, or the leaves can be used as a bed for other dishes.    Substitutes:   Bibb lettuce (smaller, more flavorful, and more expensive) OR corn salad OR leaf lettuce OR iceberg lettuce OR celery leaves 

butterhead lettuce = butter lettuce  Notes:  This category includes Bibb lettuce and Boston lettuce.





corn salad = mache = lamb's lettuce = lamb's tongue = field lettuce = field salad = fetticus  Notes: Corn salad has tender leaves and a very mild flavor. Substitutes:  butter lettuce OR Bibb lettuce     



cress  Notes:   This is a peppery green that's great in salads, sandwiches, and soups.  It's attractive enough to make a good garnish as well.  There are several varieties, including watercress, upland cress, curly cress, and land cress. Cress is highly perishable, so try to use it as soon as possible after you buy it.  Substitutes:  arugula OR radish sprouts OR tender spinach leaves OR nasturtium leaves OR young dandelion greens OR Belgian endive OR purslane  

Cuban spinach


curly endive = chicory = chicory endive = curly chicory = frisée = frisee = frise   Notes:   You can use this crisp, bitter green in salads or cook it as a side dish.  The outer leaves are green and somewhat bitter; the pale inner leaves are more tender and mild.  Don't confuse this with Belgian endive, which the British call chicory and the French call endive.  Substitutes: escarole (milder flavor, different texture) OR radicchio OR dandelion greens OR mustard greens   


dandelions = dandelion greens    Notes:   Dandelions have a somewhat bitter flavor, which Europeans appreciate more than Americans.   Older dandelion greens should be cooked; younger ones can be cooked or served raw as a salad green.  They're available year-round, but they're best in the spring.  Substitutes: watercress (not as bitter) OR curly endive OR escarole OR arugula OR collard greens (if cooked)  

endigia = red endive  Notes:  This crunchy new French variety blends sweet and bitter flavors.  Substitutes:  Belgian endive OR radicchio



endive  Notes:   This category includes Belgian endive, curly endive, frisee, and escarole.


escarole = Batavian endive = Batavia = scarole  Notes:  Escarole has sturdy leaves and a slightly bitter flavor.  Young escarole leaves are tender enough to add to salads, otherwise escarole is best cooked as a side dish or used in soups.   Substitutes: curly endive (stronger flavor, different flavor) OR radicchio OR borage OR mustard greens OR arugula OR spinach  


field greens

field lettuce

field salad

French endive


green-leaf lettuce   Substitutes: red-leaf lettuce (different color, but otherwise similar) OR bibb lettuce


iceberg lettuce = head lettuce = cabbage lettuce = crisphead lettuce   Notes:  This is prized for its crispness and longevity in the refrigerator, but it's a bit short on flavor and nutrients.    Substitutes: romaine lettuce (also crunchy, and more flavorful) OR leaf lettuce  

Italian cress

Japanese greens

lamb's lettuce

lamb's tongue

leaf lettuce = looseleaf lettuce = bunching lettuce = cutting lettuce = salad-bowl lettuce = lechuga    Notes:   With their crispness and mild flavor, these lettuces are great in salads and sandwiches.  Substitutes:  butterhead lettuce OR Romaine lettuce


lettuce  Notes:   These are mild salad greens that are always served fresh, either in salads or as garnishes. There are four basic categories: iceberg lettuce, with leaves that grow in a dense "head," leaf lettuce, with loosely gathered leaves, butterhead lettuce, with tender leaves that form a soft head, and romaine lettuce, with closely packed leaves in an elongated head.  Select lettuce that has rich color and crisp, fresh-looking leaves. Substitutes:  spinach (use only young leaves for salads) OR spring salad mix  OR radicchio OR cress OR corn salad OR arugula


limestone lettuce


lollo rosso     Notes:   This mild, tender lettuce has ruffled red edges, Substitutes: red-leaf lettuce   


Mediterranean rocket

miner's lettuce


mizuna = Japanese greens = spider mustard   Notes:   Mizuna has tender leaves and a pleasant, peppery flavor. Substitutes:  young mustard greens (more pungent) OR arugula  

oakleaf lettuce = oak leaf lettuce  Notes:   Oakleaf lettuce has crunchy stems and tender leaves.  There are  red and green varieties. Substitutes: butter lettuce OR Romaine lettuce  


radicchio = red chicory = red-leafed chicory = red Italian chicory = chioggia   Pronunciation:  rah-DEEK-ee-oh   Notes:   With its beautiful coloring and slightly bitter flavor, radicchio is wonderful when combined with other salad greens.  You can also use the leaves as a base for hors d'oeuvres, or sauté them for a side dish.  The most common variety, radicchio rosso (left), is round, while the treviso radicchio is elongated.  Substitutes: Belgian endive OR escarole OR chicory OR red-leaf lettuce (for color)   

red chicory

red-leafed chicory


red-leaf lettuce  Substitutes: green-leaf lettuce (different color, but otherwise similar) OR radicchio (for color)

red orach  

red mustard   Notes:   This has a pungent, peppery flavor that adds zip to salads.  You can cook it, too.  Substitutes:   mizuna OR arugula



romaine lettuce = cos   Notes:   Romaine combines good flavor and crunch, plus it has a decent shelf life in the refrigerator.  It's the preferred green for Caesar salad.  Green romaine is the most common variety, but you can sometimes find red romaine, which is more tender.   Substitutes:  iceberg lettuce OR Boston lettuce




spider mustard

spoon cabbage

spring mix


spring salad mix = mesclun = field greens = spring mix     Notes:   This is a mix of different young salad greens.  Commercial mixes usually include arugula, mizuna, tat soi, frisee, oakleaf, red chard, radicchio, mustard greens, and radicchio. 

tango    Notes:   This mild green lettuce has ruffled edges, which makes it an interesting salad lettuce   Substitutes:   green-leaf lettuce

taratezak  Substitutes:  watercress (leaves have smoother edges)


tat soi = spoon cabbage   Notes:   This has an interesting spoon-like shape and a peppery flavor.  Substitutes:  mizuna

trefoil   Notes:  Named for the three leaves that sprout from each stem, trefoil has a crunchy texture and aromatic flavor.   It's great in salads or as a garnish in soups.  Substitutes: sorrel OR celery leaves

treviso radicchio


winter purslane = Cuban spinach = miner's lettuce = claytonia      Notes:   This resembles ordinary purslane, only the leaves and stems are smaller and more delicate.   



witloof chicory


Copyright © 1996-2005  Lori Alden