Bagged spring-mix salad is a common convenience food but its contents are not always easy to identify by name. Also called mesclun salad, this mix of baby greens typically includes a combination of mild, sweet leaves and bitter or peppery leaves. Although the exact mix can vary, bagged spring salads often contain several of the same types of lettuce and other greens.
Spring Mix Lettuces
Baby romaine and oak-leaf lettuce make up the bulk of many spring-mix salads. You might be familiar with the crisp romaine leaves as the customary lettuce in Caesar salad. Tender oak-leaf lettuce can be red and slightly bitter or green and sweet, but frilled edges distinguish both colors of oak leaf. Lollo rossa, a mild lettuce with curly, red-tipped leaves, adds color to some spring mixes.
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Other Mesclun Greens
Sturdy baby-spinach leaves and peppery arugula often are sold separately as bagged salad greens, but they also make an appearance in many spring-mix salads. Red chard is similar in flavor to spinach but has red stems and veins. Mizuna has feathery green leaves and contributes a mustard flavor to the mix. Bitter flavors in mesclun salads primarily come from frisee and radicchio, which are types of chicory. You may recognize frisee from its springy, slender, pale-green and yellow leaves. Radicchio is a stunning purple-red color with thick, white stems that add crunch to the salad mix.