Taste: Pleasantly pungent and peppery
Best in: Salads and sandwiches. Also known as rocket, roquette, rugula, and rucola, the leafy green is a staple of Italian fare and often found in mesclun (young tender greens) salad mixes, where it behaves like a cross between lettuce and herb.
Smart substitutions: Watercress, endive, or young mustard greens
All-star nutrient: Potassium
Body benefit: Blood pressure balance
When cooked, a cup contains almost a third (1,309mg) of the potassium you need in a day. But you don't have to cook: These burgundy-veined beauties are softer in texture than other hearty greens and can be eaten raw.
Taste: Broccoli rabe, a cooking green popular in Italian cuisine, resembles tiny clusters of broccoli florets amidst bunches of leaves. The leaves have a slight bitter flavor.
Best in: The leaves are best cooked or sautéed to bring out the flavor (the stalks are too bitter to eat).
Smart substitutions: Chinese broccoli, dandelion greens, or Swiss chard
Taste: A good bit like cabbage-no surprise, since collards are a variety of cabbage
Best in: A variety of world cuisines. Southerners boil collards with bacon or ham hocks; Italians simmer them in bowls of minestra.
Smart substitutions: kale, mustard greens, or turnip greens
Taste: Prickly texture and slightly bitter taste
Best in: Use in salads or stir into soups and bean dishes.
Smart substitution: Escarole, mustard greens, arugula, or spinach