Spring Produce Guide: Salad Greens

Tips for buying, storing, and cooking salad greens, plus our favorite salad green recipes.

bySAVEUR Editors| PUBLISHED Mar 17, 2021 12:13 AM
Spring Produce Guide: Salad Greens
At nine years old, the closest I’d come to cooking was upending a box of Cap’n Crunch into a bowl. One Sunday, I found myself glued to The French Chef; Julia Child was making Caesar salad. It seemed like the best thing I could possibly eat. I asked my dad for permission to make it. As luck would have it, we had the ingredients. With my chicken-scratched notes, I assembled it. By God, it was good: the tang of the Parmesan and lemon, the sweet flash of the Worcestershire, the mellow egg, all draped upon an interplay of romaine and crouton crunches. It’s been 40 years since, and I could eat it every day; Caesar salad is that perfect. &mdashJames Oseland Get the recipe for Caesar Salad ». Todd Coleman

What would summer be without the sweet crunch of lettuces and salad greens? An essential addition to tacos and sandwiches and the foundation of salads from Caesar to Cobb, the innumerable varieties of lettuce lend crispness to all kinds of summer dishes. They vary widely in flavor and texture: Iceberg lettuce, for example, has a sweet, watery crunch that's at home in a wedge salad with blue cheese; crisp romaine is ideal for adding to sandwiches; watercress has a bright, peppery flavor; and mizuna, a Japanese member of the mustard family, has a gentle spicy zing.


Avoid salad greens that are wilted or have brown-edged or slimy leaves. Look for vivid colors and firm, glossy leaves that smell fresh.


Remove any crushed or rotting leaves before you store your lettuce in perforated plastic bags in the crisper drawer with the humidity set to high. Don't wash until you're ready to use.


To remove grit from leaves, agitate them in a bowl of cold water, remove leaves, and repeat with fresh water if needed. Spin until thoroughly dried, or shake to remove excess water and pat dry.

Salad Recipes