Guide to Greens

Leafy, nutrient-rich mustard greens, collards, and Swiss chard offer wonderfully unique texture and flavor that spice up any meal.


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

 Arugula Salad with Shrimp and Grapes
 Chicken-Arugula Focaccia Sandwiches
 Tomato Fettuccine with Shrimp and Arugula


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.

 Roasted Beet and Shallot Salad over Wilted Beet Greens and Arugula 
 Pasta with Beet Greens and Raisins
 Potato-Beet Gnocchi


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

 Broccoli Rabe and White Bean Soup
 Gomiti with Broccoli Rabe, Chickpeas, and Prosciutto
 Garlicky Broccoli Rabe


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

 Ham, Collard Greens, and Egg Noodle Bowl
 Collard Greens with Lima Beans and Smoked Turkey
 Sherry-Glazed Salmon with Collard 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

 Belgian Endive-and-Apple Salad
 Endive Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Walnuts
 Braised Fennel and Endive