Mesclun


Known as the "designer salad," mesclun offers a gourmet mix of textures and sweet, spicy and bitter flavors.
Mesclun is a potpourri of young, small salad greens, herbs and edible flowers. The mixture varies depending on the source, but common ingredients include arugula, dandelion, frisee, mizuna, mache, oak leaf, radicchio and sorrel. An exciting departure from your everyday iceberg, mesclun makes salads "pop" with a blend of textures and sweet, spicy and bitter flavors.

History

This combination of leaves hails from Nice, France where it was originally made with wild greens. The term "mesclun" comes from mesclumo, a Provencal word for "mix."

Buying Tips

Mesclun is available at specialty produce markets and many supermarkets. It's sometimes called mesculum, spring mix, gourmet salad mix or field greens. Look for small, crisp leaves with no signs of wilting. They should smell fresh, not sour.

Storage Tips

Refrigerate unwashed in a plastic bag and use within five days.

Usage Tips

Mesclun is usually eaten raw in salads, where it imparts a delightful tang. For the best flavor and texture, wash the leaves right before you're ready to use them (any added moisture will just make them wilt and spoil faster). The best way to do this is to dunk the greens in a large bowl, pot or sink filled with cold water. Any dirt or debris will sink to the bottom. Once thoroughly cleaned, remove the leaves and blot dry.


Try one of our favorite mesclun recipes:

Date, Goat Cheese and Mesclun Salad
Marinated Fried Tofu and Vegetable Salad with Mesclun
Greek-Style Lamb Salad with Feta-Lemon Dressing
by BigOven editorial team
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