The Fine Cooking Annual Volume 3 from the experts at Fine Cooking Magazine, presents chef-inspired recipes like Garden Lettuces with Garlic Chapons; Cavatappi with No-Cook Tomato Sauce; and Braised Cod with Fennel, Potatoes & Littlenecks.
See Recipe: Garden Lettuces with Garlic Chapons
In summertime, grocery stores and farmers' markets abound with a variety of salad greens, ranging from sweet to spicy to bitter, with textures that can be silky, crunchy, or even bristly. Here are some wonderful varieties to look for.
1. Watercress has a spicy kick and is very versatile. It's often used in sandwiches and soups, but it will be the star of a salad. Trim the base of the stalks and keep the bouquet of leaves intact.
2. Mizuna looks pretty and has a mild, earthy flavor, which makes it a great salad green on its own, although it also blends well with other leaves. Keep the leaves whole.
3. Red & green leaf lettuces (such as the frilly Lollo Rossa and the smooth Red Oak Leaf) have leaves that grow from a single stalk in a loose bunch rather than forming a tight head. They have a sweet, delicate flavor that's delicious both on its own and mixed with other greens.
4.Romaine has a sweet, gentle flavor and a crisp bite, and it's versatile: It partners well with most greens and a variety of dressings. For milder flavor and softer texture, remove the outer leaves or buy hearts of romaine.
5. Mâche is also known as lamb's lettuce. It has dainty, velvety-textured leaves with a mild yet tangy flavor. It's usually sold in small rosettes with the root attached. Use it alone or tossed into a mixed green salad.
6. Butter lettuce (including bibb and Boston) has a subtle, buttery flavor that marries well with citrus and dairy-based vinaigrettes. The silken leaves require very gentle handling.
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