Whichever salad greens you choose, look for those that appear fresh without brown, bruised, or wilted leaves. Choose your greens according to the type of salad and/or dressing you plan to serve. Here are a few guidelines:
Crunchy, mild-flavor greens, such as iceberg, romaine, and spinach, stand up admirably to thick and/or creamy dressings, such as blue cheese and ranch.
Soft and mild butterhead and red- or green-leaf lettuces are winning choices when you want other salad ingredients, such as in-season fruits and vegetables, to stand out.
Spicy and bitter greens, such as endive, radicchio, watercress, arugula, and frisee, make terrific choices when you want the flavor of the greens themselves to be a starring component of the salad. These greens work well with vinaigrettes or other oil-base dressings.
Cabbages are best shredded. Perfect in coleslaw, they can also be added to green salads in smaller amounts for extra flavor and texture.
Sturdy greens, such as beet greens, Swiss chard, kale, and mustard greens, add fascinating flavor accents to your salad mix; however, shred or tear them into small pieces, and use smaller amounts so they do not overpower the other greens.
Greens by the Bagful
Packaged prewashed greens, sold by the bag in the produce section of the supermarket, are a realistic choice when you don't have time to prep greens yourself. These packages are designed to allow greens to breathe, so store them in the original bag.