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Identifying Pungent Greens

Pungent greens have a bite. These greens make excellent additions to salads with a mild greens base. You can also use pungent greens in a variety of dishes. Here’s a list of the most common types of pungent greens:

  • Arugula: You can practically taste the iron in the peppery flavor of arugula’s dark green leave.

  • Belgian endive: Its pale yellow and white leaves are packed tightly together, in a cigarlike shape. This green has a lot of crunch and a slightly bitter taste.

  • Cabbage: Comes in a red and green variety.

  • Curly endive (sometimes called chicory): Similar to escarole in flavor, this green has very curly leaves.

  • Dandelion: A green that you can probably harvest off your front lawn (if you don’t have dogs and don’t spray your yard with chemicals). Choose young, tender leaves; the older ones are too bitter and tough.

  • Escarole: A member of the endive family, escarole is rather tart.

  • Frisée: Mildly bitter, this pale-yellow green has prickly-shaped leaves.

  • Radicchio: Has a small, tightly wound head with deep magenta leaves. Radicchio is extremely pungent and comparatively expensive.

  • Spinach: These deep green, slightly crumpled leaves are full of iron. Discard the thick stems.

  • Watercress: Its clover-shaped leaves, lend peppery crunch to any salad. Snap off and discard the tough stems.

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