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To make a good salad is to be a brilliant diplomatist—the problem is entirely the same in both cases. To know exactly how much oil one must put with one's vinegar.
In spring and summer, salads using fresh, seasonal greens are an ideal way to get dinner on the table fast without spending much time in front of the stove.
Use crisp romaine to make a refreshing, crunchy, classic Caesar salad. Toss tender spinach leaves with lean protein and fresh vegetables for a light main-dish salad perfect for hot summer nights. Not in the mood for a salad? Add fresh salad greens to your favorite sandwich for added crunch, flavor and nutrition: try watercress on a tuna salad sandwich or arugula on a grilled vegetable sandwich.
With countless salad greens available, our guide will aid you in your salad exploits, from store to plate. So choose your greens, choose your dressing, choose your additions—choose a salad with soul.
What You Get
What You Get:
A 2-cup bowlful has less than 15 calories yet is packed with nutrients, such as folate, vitamin C, fiber, potassium and the vitamin A precursor beta carotene, which in itself is a powerful antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals that damage cells.
Salad greens are available in three forms. Prewashed greens are ubiquitous in produce sections. Find them in bags, plastic tubs or bulk bins. Greens come in single-item bags, such as spinach or romaine, or blends, such as mesclun or baby lettuces. Lettuces such as Bibb, Boston, iceberg and romaine are often sold as heads.
Greens like watercress, arugula and spinach are often sold by the bunch. Whether purchased by the bag, head or bunch, salad greens should look fresh, crisp and green. Avoid greens that are brown, yellow, wilted, blemished, bruised or slimy. If stems are still attached they should be undamaged.
To wash gritty greens: Gently swirl in a large bowl of water to loosen any sand or dirt; lift greens from the water to a colander or salad spinner; swirl in two more changes of water to make sure no grit remains. A salad spinner is often a worthwhile investment, as moist salad greens decay faster, and dressings adhere best to dry greens.
To store greens: It is best not to wash leaves before storing because the moisture encourages decay. If greens are sprayed in the market, dry on kitchen towels before wrapping in dry towels and placing in plastic storage bags. Most greens keep in the refrigerator crisper for three to five days.
Did you know? Salad got its name from how it was dressed in the Greek and Roman days. Salads were usually dressed with heavily salted dressings, so they were called herba salta in Latin, or “salted herbs.”
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