A quick look-up in a dictionary for the word ‘mesclun’ will yield a simple definition: a salad made of greens and herbs. If you take a closer look at the different mesclun salad mixes in the produce section, you’ll find a wide array of baby lettuces and fresh herbs.
Many different greens are used in the mix. The key to mesclun mixes is that they are grown and cut as small leaf lettuces, ensuring they are tender and less bitter than their adult forms. While mesclun can be sautéed and served warm, mesclun mixed greens are often simply used as a salad base.
Growing mesclun at home is easily started and grown in a container at home, and the seed mixes vary. The manufacturer’s or grower’s mix may depend on desired salad color, texture, growing times, or the salad’s flavor profile. Check the labels of different brands for a mix that suites you and follow the recommended growing instructions.
Here is a list of five of the most popular greens that make up a general mesclun salad mix, and their daily value percentages from a single serving size.
Mesclun – Five Popular Greens Inside a Mesclun Mix
- Endive – Leaf vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked. Endive can be found as frisee (curly endive) and escarole (broad leaf endive). Endive provides both flavor and texture to the mix. Per one-half cup serving, endive adds 11% DV Vitamin A, 3% DV Vitamin C, 9% DV Folate.
- Radicchio – Variegated colors in red or green. Gives a nice bitterness and color to a salad. Per 1 cup shredded portion, radicchio gives 6% DV Folate, 5% DV each Vitamins A and C, and has 37mg Omega-6 fatty acids.
- Arugula – This leafy green also goes by the name of rocket or roquette, and adds spice to the salad. Per 1/2 cup serving, arugula leaves give 5% DV Vitamin A, and 2% DV each Vitamin C and Folate.
- Chard – Also can be found as Swiss chard, chard are the leaves from the beet plant, Beta vulgaris. Per 1 cup raw serving, Swiss chard gives 44% DV Vitamin A, 18% DV Vitamin C, 3% DV Vitamin E, and has 22mg Omega-6 fatty acids.
- Dandelion Greens – Not the typical weed, this wider leaf variety gives great flavor and texture to the mix. A 1 cup serving of chopped dandelion greens gives 112% DV Vitamin A, 32% DV Vitamin C, 10% DV Calcium, 8% DV Dietary Fiber, and gives 144mg Omega-6 fatty acids.
Neufeldt, Victoria, Ed. Webster’s New World College Dictionary. 3rd Ed. New York: Simon, 1997.
Nutrition Facts and Analysis found on Nutritiondata.com.