Focus On: Lettuce and Salad Greens

There are so many types of salad greens. How does Burpee classify each type?

There are numerous types of lettuces, and all other salad greens are classified as non-lettuce salad greens. There are also mixes that stay within the classification but offer various forms, texture and color.

Buroee has worked diligently to establish precise lettuce classifications as follows:
Butterhead- Forms a head; leaf texture is softer; less veining.
Crisphead- Also known as Iceberg; very firm head and mild flavors.
Romaine- Also called Cos; upright leaves are very tender.
Cutting Looseleaf- A cut stem will resprout and produce new leaves.
Other salad greens are Arugula, Chicory, Corn Salad, Chard, Cress, Pea Shoots, Radicchio, Spinach, Mustard, Pak Choi, Par-Cel, Dandelion, Cutting Celery, Cilantro, Broccoli Raab, Mache, Mesclun, Sorrel and Purslane.

Salads are not only healthy, but beautiful when the lettuces are mixed with other salad greens and seasonal vegetables. In 2010, The Cook's Garden created the "Art of the Salad," and the interest and response from customers has been tremendous.

How did the "Art of the Salad" happen?

In the spring and summer, we had our largest and most successful trial of lettuces and salad greens. We always take thousands of images of individual products, and our Art Director began taking images of various products combined in a culinary setting. When we reviewed the images, we said, "This is like art, too beautiful to eat!"

In a culinary environment, the salad is presented first, and the quality and presentation set the stage for the remainder of the meal. Why not create salads that are not only healthy, but beautiful, too? We began to use the term, "Art of the Salad." We are committed to continuing to introduce new lettuces and salad greens that add to the beauty of a nutritious salad.

I need protein in my diet, but I don't really want meat. Any suggestions?

Beans of all types will add protein, but kidney, garbanzo and pinto have the highest protein levels. Also, nuts including cashews, pecans and walnuts are high in protein. In late summer, seeds from your pumpkins and sunflowers can be dried and added to salads.

With these additions to various lettuces and salad greens, your salad can become a work of art. Add other creative ingredients like colorful tomatoes, strips of sweet red peppers, beets, onions and corn. Various seasonal fruits are another tasty, ornamental addition.

Harvest Festival Salad

Ingredients

2 large tomatoes
1 large sweet pepper
1 cucumber
10-12 radishes
1/8 lb. snow or sugar pea
1 head broccoli
1 head Chinese cabbage
3 medium carrots
1 squash
1 zucchini
1 cup corn salad
3 cups cutting looseleaf lettuce blend (Gourmet Blend Lettuce)
3 cups cutting looseleaf red
3 cups romaine
1 cup radicchio
1 cup mesclun
1 cup baby leaf spinach
1 cup mixed beets (red and yellow)

Directions

Wash and drain all ingredients.

This is a very busy salad that is flexible in the quantity of each item, based on the season and harvest availability. All ingredients can be increased or decreased to create more emphasis on the seasonal products that are the freshest from your garden.

The salad can be chopped, torn or cut to bite-sized pieces. A very simple oil and vinegar with fresh herbs and lemon is a delightful light dressing.

Happy Fall Gardening!