Dinner Diva | Lettuce 2.0

Last week we talked about turning over a new leaf—as in dumping the Iceberg lettuce in our lives and going for a truly tasty (and nutritious) salad. If you’ll remember, I was grousing big time about this lackluster lettuce both in the taste and nutrition department. 

So we figured out some new lettuces to use as the foundation for our new and improved salad (see last week’s Dinner Diva column). Now we’re going to get creative with some add-ins; additional salad greens that will not only step up the flavor and ingenuity of your born-again salad, but add a copious amount of nutrition, too.

Here are a few of my faves:

Mache. Also known as Lamb’s Lettuce, this tender green apparently looks like a lamb’s tongue, hence the name. I have never seen a lamb’s tongue so I can’t confirm. However, I can tell you that the flavor of Mache is rich and nutty; absolutely delicious! Nutritionally, it excels in the iron department—a third more iron than spinach. Vitamins C and some B’s round out this salad green nicely.

Watercress. A little will do the trick, lending its peppery flavor through the dark green leaves to give your salad added dimension. If you’re looking for nutrition, 15 essentials inhabit these small leaves, including vitamin C, folic acid, calcium, magnesium and zinc. Who knew?

Arugula. I love me some arugula! In the UK and in other places, arugula is known as Rocket. Kin to the radish, this peppery salad green adds a little punch to your salad and a ton of folic acid, vitamins A and K, as well as a smattering of zinc, potassium, calcium and iron…wow!

There’s a lot more salad greens out there of course, but let’s get started with some good ones you can most likely find in your chain grocery store. Next week, we’ll finish our salad series with the last of our salad add-ins, the good stuff, going beyond tomatoes and cucumbers. Plus I’ll share with you my never fail vinaigrette recipe.

Salad Making 2.0-a whole new level of green. Let’s get those salads tossing!


For more help putting dinner on your table, check out Leanne’s website, www.SavingDinner.com, or her Saving Dinner book series (Ballantine) and her New York Times bestselling book Body Clutter (Fireside). Copyright 2009 Leanne Ely. Used by permission in this publication.

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