Taste: Like its relative, Belgian endive, it's slightly bitter
Best in: Young, tender leaves are good in raw salads. Because escarole is more delicate than other hearty greens, it doesn't require long cooking-nice if you want supper on the table in a hurry.
Smart substitutions: mustard greens, arugula, or spinach
Taste: Earthy and cabbage-y, like other cruciferous vegetables
Best in: Kales sturdy leaves are excellent sautéed and added to casseroles.
Smart substitutions: collard greens, Swiss chard, mustard greens, or spinach
All-star nutrient: Vitamin A
Body benefit: Vision health
Hard to believe how soft and silky this crinkly, supercrisp leaf turns when cooked. One cup offers more than a day's worth of A (481mcg), nearly double the amount in most other greens.
Taste: Mildly tangy
Best in: A mixture of baby greens, mesclun is good in raw salads.
Smart substitutions: Arugula, romaine, and spinach.
Taste: Spicy and peppery; the smaller the leaves, the sharper and hotter the taste
Best in: Stir-fries or sautés. To tone down mustard greens' assertiveness, blanch the leaves in salted water before incorporating them in a recipe.
Smart substitutions: Escarole, kale, Swiss chard, or spinach