If salad usually leaves you feeling green, you’re just not eating the right ones!
There are more kinds of salad than any other dish – it can be a main, starter or pudding; a snack or a feast. You can have a fruit salad, a green salad, a bean salad, a potato salad, a cold salad, a warm salad, and many more.
With all those options in mind, it’s a great way to show off and get creative in the kitchen. All you have to do is choose some great, complementary ingredients and pick the perfect dressing for them.
Jamie’s a huge fan of leafy salads because they’re healthy, quick and versatile. Every leaf has slightly different properties so combining them can create complex flavours with very little effort. Here’s our guide to sexy salad leaves and some delicious ways to use them..
This leaf has a fantastic crunch and a sweet flavour, and it’s good with hot or cold food. It’s perfect for popping into burger baps, and even better filled with seafood to make bite-size salad or seafood cups.
Learn more about lettuce at the Vegepedia!
Lollo rosso also known as lolla rossa
Vibrant frilly green-red leaves and a subtle, mild flavour. Its leaves are soft and pliable, making them good as wraps. Delicious with fish, and looks great on the plate paired with white fish so the leaves really stand out.
With a citrusy, spicy onion taste, watercress is great with fish and you can whip up a sauce for salmon fillets in moments by blending watercress, crème fraiche and lemon juice.
The signature lettuce for a Caesar salad, it has a great crunch and a refreshing, aromatic flavour that makes it great for cutting through any creamy dressing. Its great texture brings even the simplest salads to life, like in Jamie’s Everyday green chopped salad.
Adds punch and pepperiness to salads, and does the same stirred into pasta and risottos. It complements cheese and tomatoes perfectly too, so try topping a pizza with rocket just before serving.
Red chard has a striking red stem with small, dark leaves that keep their shape and can be used in stir-fries and warm salads. The dramatic colour makes it a beautiful partner with the vivid orange of butternut squash or sweet potato.
Earthy and buttery, spinach complements a wide range of foods and you can enjoy it raw or cooked. It’s particularly good with cream or tomato based dishes, so try in soups and tomato sauces, or enjoy on its own sautéed with a little butter and garlic.
The UK’s oldest type of lettuce, the green butterhead has soft, bright green leaves and, as the name suggests, a buttery taste with a floral quality. Enjoy with other delicate flavours such as white fish, chicken or vegetables.
The firm, bright purple leaves and white veins make this leaf stand out. It has a bitter flavour that is great with sweeter lettuces such as iceberg, romaine and round butterhead lettuce, and goes well with soft, rich cheeses like baked Camembert. It’s also great with sweet dressings, like in this famous Italian salad, Insalata di radicchio e rughetta.
Like radicchio, endive is also a member of the chicory family and shares its crisp texture and nutty, bitter flavour. It can be served raw or cooked (particularly chargrilled) and works well with sweet dressings such as honey and mustard.
Bright green with large frilly leaves, this lettuce is perfect for tearing and has a sweet flavour with a slightly acidic finish. Its frilly leaves are great for mopping up sauces and dressings, and it’s delicious with roast chicken for a lighter take on a Sunday roast.
If that’s inspired you to get making some salads, try Jamie’s amazing jam jar dressings to bring your leaves to life.