Lettuce and Mesclun for salad tonight.

11 Interesting Facts About Mesclun (Small Young Salad)

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Introduction

Mesclun, sometimes referred to as “small young salad”, is a mix of young salad greens that originated in Provence, France. The mix usually contains lettuces and greens like arugulafriséemâchemizunaoak leafradicchio, and sorrel. Mesclun has become popular around the world for its unique flavors and textures that complement a wide variety of dishes.

Below are 11 fascinating facts about this flavorful salad green mix:

Interesting Facts About Mesclun

Mesclun greens
Mesclun greens
  1. EtymologyThe name “mesclun” comes from the Provençal word “mesclumo” which means “mixture”. This refers to the mixes of young greens that mesclun contains.
  2. Origins in ProvenceMesclun greens originated in Provence, France during the 20th century. Chefs started using a mix of young greens that were growing wild in the countryside. This variety of textures and flavors became popular.
  3. Sometimes Called “Small Young Salad”In French, “petite salade” means “small salad”. Mesclun is sometimes referred to as “small young salad” since it contains tender, young salad greens.
  4. Ingredients Depend on Region and SeasonThere’s no set mix for mesclun greens. It varies by region and season. But it typically includes lettuces like oak leaf, frisée and rocket as well as herbs like dill and chervil.
  5. For Best Flavor, Pick Greens YoungMesclun gets its signature flavor from picking greens when they are baby-sized. Picking them young keeps them tender and brings out their sweet, mild flavors.
  6. Popular Around the WorldWhile mesclun originated in Provence, it is now popular in top restaurants globally. Its versatility makes it a staple green for chefs around the world.
  7. Often Served as a Side SaladMesclun makes a great side salad. Its mix of textures and flavors pairs well with a wide variety of dishes from seafood to steak. It also works well in main-dish salads.
  8. Nutrient-DenseMesclun greens pack nutrients like vitamins A, C, and K. The mix provides antioxidants and fiber. Dark greens like spinach and arugula add even more nutrients.
  9. Goes Well with Bold VinaigrettesThe tender baby greens are well-suited for bold vinaigrettes. Their subtle flavors shine when paired with zesty dressings. Popular options include citrus, mustard, or herb vinaigrettes.
  10. Often Found Pre-Mixed in StoresWhile you can mix your own mesclun greens, most grocery stores sell pre-mixed mesclun salad bags. This makes mesclun fast and convenient for weeknight side salads.
  11. Great Base for Composed SaladsIn addition to vinaigrettes, mesclun works well with mix-ins like nuts, fruits, and cheeses. It serves as the base for infinite composed salad combinations.

Conclusion

Mesclun salad greens have become a versatile staple around the world due to their signature mix of flavors and textures. While mesclun originated in Provence, France, it has gained global popularity as a nutrient-dense side salad that works well with a variety of dishes. Experiment with mesclun greens next time you make salad for a unique addition.


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