Spring greens

Spring greens, greens, and more greens. Winter greens are still in with the cool, rainy weather, and spring tender greens are in as well. How do you use which and when is it safe to experiment?

Elliott Grows can answer questions about the varieties of tender greens they grow hydroponically in green houses. Their latest email updates were also informative for this Coppell Farmers Market update.

Steve and Kat Elliott say butterhead lettuce is the best tasting and most everyone’s favorite, yet Roxy red butterhead lettuce is tender and tasty, while Bergam’s green leaf lettuce is a generic green leaf with solid texture. The multi green leaf lettuce has a strange name, but crunchy texture. For a mild flavor and tender leaves, choose red oak leaf lettuce.

Sorrel is a French herb with a surprising flavor. Ask the Elliotts for a recipe card for sorrel soup. Arugula has a smaller leaf than lettuces and is nice and a bit peppery. Find recipes on the Coppell Farmers Market Pinterest board Awesome Arugula. Water cress is more mildly spicy, while mizuna is a mild flavored Japanese mustard.

Several basil varieties also have distinctive flavors for different purposes. Genovese is a sweet Italian basil found most commonly to use for the tomato sauces. Purple basil has a stronger basil flavor, recognizable by the purple stem. Thai basil has the exotic flavor of anise (licorice). Lemon basil is lemony! Find Bring on the Basil on the Pinterest account and match up a specialty basil with a recipe for a unique twist on a familiar recipe.

Kale, Swiss chard and collards still linger from winter at several booths. These are the super foods of winter. Tender chard leaves may be used for salads, but larger leaves may need to be cooked if a taste test proves a bit bitter. Kale and collards do need to be cooked. If your family doesn’t care for them as a stand alone side dish, they can even be cut into small pieces and added into most soup for these rainy days as a way to significantly ramp up the nutrition without overwhelming the soup. Also find kale and chard options on Pinterest boards at Coppell Farmers Market.

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