Friday, May 14, 2010

A Different Kind of Lettuce

I noticed some vendors at the Market last week who were selling mesclun. It's a mix of salad that originated in France, and it sometimes goes by the title "spring mix" at the grocery store. Because our vendors tend to be more adventuresome than your typical grocer, some mesclun mixes at the Market may include dandelion greens and other things you might not anticipate! Although it doesn't necessarily look the same as other lettuce (it is often more colorful), the taste isn't what you might expect either. Some mesclun mixes are peppery, some bitter, and others fairly mild.

When you purchase a mesclun mix at the Market, be sure to tell the vendor if you have a preference in how your lettuce should taste. They can probably direct you to one that will be palate-pleasing. Of course, for those who are more "fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants", try them all and report back about what you liked best!

If you'd like to try a mesclun mix, and aren't sure what to do with it once you get it home, you might try this recipe from the Mayo Clinic. It is a mesclun salad with blood oranges and radishes. Of course, I think you could substitute mandarin oranges for the blood oranges, and it would still turn out to be tasty.

Please share any lettuce adventures or produce discoveries that you come across and provide us with recipes that you find as well.

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