How To Use Leafy Greens to add Oomph, Zing, and Festivity to Any Fall Salad
These zingy fall greens can be bitter, but it doesn't mean you should write them off. The secret to eating these bitter greens is knowing how to pair them, and in our opinion, it's a very underrated skill.
There are 3 tricks to eating piquant leafy greens:
- Contrasting flavors will work in your favor when combining bitter greens with other salad ingredients (i.e., goat cheese and arugula.)
- Balance flavors by adding a sprinkle of salt over the raw greens and giving them (and the salt) a vigorous, little toss.
- There's a science to making piquant fall greens work: if you don't want to dose your salad in dressing: massage them, chop them, then wash them. It has to be in that exact order.
Wired.com says when you only massage the greens, you can just make them more bitter, but if you rub, then prep, you can then wash the bitter enzymes right off the leaf. They swear by this method to make the perfect kale salad.
Try These Fall Harvested Greens
This fall veggie is known to be a little bitter, but if you follow our tips, as mentioned earlier, you'll be slinging mustard greens around in the kitchen like a well-practiced chef. For the best experience, sparsely add mustard greens in with other, more balanced greens to give a spicy kick to salads.
Taste Profile: Peppery and Pungent
Average Retail Cost: $2.68/ pound
The fennel leaves have slight licorice or Anise flavor. Jamie Oliver uses the fall green in his fall-inspired alfresco Harvest Salad recipe. The famous chef pairs fennel with colorful and vibrant ingredients: coriander seeds, beetroots, acorn squash, feta cheese, mint, and parsley. You can check out the recipe for yourself here.
Taste Profile: Licorice, Crunchy, and a Mild Anise Flavor
Average Retail Cost: Can range.
These small bundles have to be planted TWICE before the edible leaves will grow. The intense growing process means this vegetable can be a little pricey in the market. However, if you're a fan of a bit of crunch in your salad, then you'll like using sliced endives as a topper.
Belgian endives will have a milder flavor than other chicories. Not a fan of bitter greens? Try baking your endives and adding them to a lentil salad.
Average Cost: $4.99 per 9 ounces or $0.55 per ounce.
Taste Profile: Slightly sweet but bitter with a tender, fresh, and clean flavor. Endives give salads a crunchy texture. The general consensus seems to be that raw endive leaves taste best when thinly sliced.
The maturity of the plant effective how exactly this plant will taste. Arugula is an excellent source of vitamin K, and A. Raw arugula will contain more isothiocyanates than cooked. Isothiocyanates are thought to help prevent cancer.
Average Cost: The average cost of arugula is $10.00 per pound. If you shop at your local farmers' market, you might pay $15 per pound.
Taste Profile: Ideally, arugula will be "slightly tart, bright, and peppery."
This plant has some encouraging medicinal properties, from improved eyesight to being a source of fiber, vitamin A, potassium, and magnesium. Beyond adding zest to your salads, you can also grind up sorrel leaves and applied to rashes or skin irritations.
Average Cost: An organic bunch of Sorrel will cost you around $2.37.
Taste Profile: Tangy and citrusy (some say it has a lemony taste.)
Want to find out more about this autumns in-season eats? Read our article: Want To Enjoy the Flavors of 5 Star Dining at Home? Eat In-Season!