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SaltSo, you thought salt was salt, right? Well, all salt is still sodium chloride, but salt comes from different sources in the world and have different textures and subtleties of flavor. There are three main types of salt: table salt, pickling salt, and rock salt. A cheap non-food grade salt, rock salt comes in bigger crystals and is used to melt ice quickly when making ice cream or for clearing your sidewalk. Pickling salt is used to make dill pickles or other brine vegetables.  It is similar to table salt, except it will cake and clump. 

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MesclunMany of the greens found in the wild have become legitimized by the popularity of mesclun mixes and intentionally cultivated. Mesclun, comes from a French word meaning “mixture.”  Originating in Provence, France, mesclun traditionally was a blend of chervil, arugula, lettuce, and endive. These were usually grown together and harvested when only a few inches high.

Mesclun in America is much more varied. Not only are the blends packed with eight to sixteen different kinds of greens, but they are also geared for different tastes.  Some are quite mild and contain much more lettuce. Peppery mescluns can have cresses, chicory, arugula, and mustards mixed with regular leaf lettuce. Many of the greens in these salad blends are: lettuces, endives, mustards, purslane, cresses, escarole, arugula, chard, and spinach. Exotic greens like mizuna from Japan or tat-soi from China are popular, too. Some mescluns even have herbs, like parsleys and fennels, and edible flowers.


French PurslaneMost wild salad greens are just pesky weeds to most people. Yet, many upscale supermarkets carry wild greens, and fine dining establishments use dandelion greens, a variety of watercresses, lambs quarters, and even French purslane in their creations. These weeds are really nutritious and very tasty. Wash them well, and chop or tear them into very small pieces to distribute their unique flavors. Use singly in a salad or mix them with other wild greens and domestic lettuces. Dress lightly so you don’t mask their flavors.  Besides eating them raw, these greens can be wilted or steamed and served with a vinaigrette dressing or a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Click to continue reading Wild Salad Greens Found in Your Supermarket


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