There are many types of salad greens and lettuces. Commonly types of lettuces available in Australia are Iceberg, Cos, Butter, Red Oak, Green Oak, Red and Green Coral and Red Mignonette. Greens also include Watercress, Sorrel, Chard (which are the immature leaves of the beetroot plant) Lambs Lettuce or Mache, Chicory, Witlof, Radicchio, and Rocket as well as the wide array of Asian greens. Mesclun or salad mix is a mixture of lettuces and other greens as well as baby spinach.
Selection and storage
Look for crisp greens with bright colours. Yellowing is a sign of age and indicates that the greens may have an off flavour. Young, leafy greens generally have small, tender leaves and a mild flavour. Many mature plants have tougher leaves and stronger flavours. Store in a bag in the crisper section of the refrigerator.
Wash and dry greens in a salad spinner or dry tea towel before use. Salad mix or mesclun, baby spinach and other leaves sold by the kilo are triple washed before sale, so washing is not necessary and can cause the leaves to bruise and become waterlogged.
Greens provide nutrients including fibre, beta-carotene, calcium, iron and folic acid.