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Salad Greens and Fresh Herb Identification Chart 6-4-08

A gift from Earthbound Farm, one of my favorite organic produce companies!

Salad Greens Identification Chart

Here's a quick, easy reference to help you identify the different kinds of baby greens and baby lettuces in Earthbound Farm's organic salads — as well as other greens you might be curious about.

Baby greens are not only delicious, they're more nutritious than more traditional salads consisting of only iceberg or romaine lettuce. So next time you're preparing a salad for friends and family, go for the greens. We grow them organically, then pre-wash and pack them in convenient bags or reclosable clamshell containers. Many Earthbound Farm organic salads are also available in bulk and foodservice packs.

Arugula Baby Green Chard Baby Red Chard
Arugula Baby Red Chard
Baby Spinach Belgian Endive Chervil
Baby Spinach Belgian Endive Chervil
Cilantro Collard Green Dill
Cilantro Collard Green Dill
Dinosaur Kale Frisée Gold Chard
Dinosaur Kale Frisee Gold Chard
Green Chard Green Curly Kale Green Leaf Lettuce
Green Chard Green Curly Kale Green Leaf
Green Oak Leaf Green Romaine Italian Parsley
Green Oak Leaf Green Romaine Italian Parsley
Lollo Rosa Mâche Mizuna
Lollo Rosa Mache Mizuna
Nagoya Pea Greens Radicchio
Nagoya Pea Greens Radicchio
Red Belgian Endive Red Leaf Lettuce Red Mustard
Red Belgian Endive Red Leaf Lettuce Red Mustard
Red Oak Leaf Red Peacock Kale Red Romaine
Red Oak Leaf Red Peacock Kale Red Romaine
Red Russian Kale Ruby Chard Spinach
Red Russian Kale Ruby Chard Spinach
Tango Tat Soi White Nagoya
Tango Tat Soi White Nagoya
Wild Arugula White Peacock Kale  
White Peacock Kale

Herb Identification Chart

We've photographed many of the organic herbs available in our Cut-Your-Own Organic Herb Garden, identified them with both their common and Latin names, and provided brief descriptions and culinary applications.

Cambridge Scarlet Bee Balm
Monarda didyma

Citrus-flavored leaves, with hints of orange and lemon. Use fresh whole or chopped leaves in recipes for duck, meat, sausages, and curries. Also complements many fruits, including strawberries, oranges, apples, melons, and tangerines. Combines well with mint.

Fresh flowers are edible and can be used in salads or as garnishes.

Flower color: brilliant scarlet

Cambridge Scarlet Bee Balm

Lavender Bee Balm
Monarda fistulosa

Large and colorful, spicy flowers. Often called bergamot because its citrusy flavor is similar to the bergamot orange, bee balm flowers make a great addition to oil when frying white fish or scallops. Their strong flavor also goes well with meat and pork dishes. Bee balm leaves have a very strong flavor and should be dried before use. Add the dried leaves to black tea to make your own Earl Grey.

Use whole flowers to make attractive floating garnishes in punch bowls of sangria, or use them to decorate the rim of a serving platter. Bee balm flowers can be fresh-frozen and will keep for two months or more.

Flower color: purple

Lavendar Bee Balm

Lemon Balm
Melissa officinalis

Lemon-scented with a hint of mint. Leaves can be used whole or chopped in a variety of dishes, including salads, marinades, vegetables, lamb, and shellfish. Lemon balm can also be used to make a delicious tea.

Flower color: yellow or white clusters

Lemon Balm
Basil

A member of the mint family, basil has as many varieties as there are countries in the world — and every region seems to have a favorite.

Fino Verde Basil
Ocimum basilicum piccolo

Sweet, small, spicy leaves are perfect for pesto.

Flower color: white

Fino Verde Basil

Mrs. Burns Lemon Basil (Heirloom)
Ocimum basilicum "citriodorum"

The truest of lemon herbs, Mrs. Burns Lemon Basil can be used in soups, stews, vinegars, and vegetable dishes. Or cover steamed fish or chicken with a few sprigs as it cooks. The lemon-scented leaves are also great in desserts, drinks, and jellies.

Mrs. Burns Lemon Basil (Heirloom)

Sweet Basil
Ocimum basilicum

Rather than being sweet, as the name implies, this herb is spicy. Very popular for use in pesto. Flowers are edible.

Flower color: white

Sweet Basil

Red Rubin Basil
Ocimum basilicum "thyrsflora"

Often added to vinegars, where its deep rich colors are appreciated. This sweeter basil is easily overpowered by garlic or tomatoes and should instead be included in recipes for baked goods, fruity salad dressings, even ice creams and sorbets.

Flower color: pink

Red Rubin Basil

Thai Basil
Ocimum basilicum "thyrsflora"

Has a very sweet fragrance and is used in Thai cooking. Its sweet licorice, or anise, flavor is prominent in many Asian dishes, particularly noodle soups.

Flower color: white & deep lavender

Thai Basil
Chamomile

German Chamomile
Matricaria recutita

Chamomile tea is brewed from dried flowers. The flowers may be used fresh or dried and are best when picked the day they open. Flowers can be picked for several months.

Flower color: white

German Chamomile
Chives

Chives
Allium ochoenoprasum

Tastes like sweet, mild onions. Minced fresh leaves can be used in recipes or as garnish. Whole leaves can be tied decoratively around vegetables. Flowers can be used in salads and vinegars, or as a garnish.

Flower color: pale purple

Chives

Garlic Chives
Allium tuberosum

Subtle garlic flavor is perfect for use in uncooked dishes where raw regular garlic would be overwhelming or too spicy.

Flower color: white

Garlic Chives
Lavender

English Lavender
Lavandula angustifolia

Not only is English Lavender a superb fragrant ornamental, but it also has culinary and medicinal virtues. Try lavender leaves in delicate desserts.

Flower color: medium purple

English Lavender
Lemon Grass

Lemon Grass
Cymbopogon citrates

Native to India, this lemony-flavored grass has a hot and spicy surprise at the bottom of each stalk. The white end adds a sharp, lemon tang to soups and stir-frys, and is an essential ingredient in many Asian dishes. The grassy part of the stalk can be sliced very fine and added to soups. Also makes great sun tea.

Lemon Grass
Mint

Delicious in jellies, sauces, teas, and beverages. Some mints (especially the spearmint varieties) enhance meats, fish, and vegetable dishes.

Catnip
Nepeta cataria

A member of the mint family, catnip isn't just for kitties. It has a strong, mint-like flavor, and the leaves may be rubbed on meats to flavor prior to cooking. The leaves are also sometimes used sparingly in salads. The flowers make a beautiful garnish.

Flower color: white

Catnip

Kentucky Colonel Mint
Mentha spicata, cv.

The official mint julep mint! Kentucky Colonel spearmint can be used in any recipe calling for spearmint, including mint sauce and mint jelly.

Flower color: lilac

Kentucky Colonel Mint

Licorice Mint
Anise hyssop

A tasty culinary herb that combines licorice flavor with mint. Its flavor is sweet rather than spicy, and it can be used for desserts or drinks. Try steeping washed leaves in milk prior to adding the milk to your ice cream maker.

Leave the flowers for the butterflies. While they can be eaten, they may contain tiny insects that are impossible to remove.

Flower color: bluish-purple

Licorice Mint

Moroccan Mint
Mentha, cv.

A peppermint variety that is perfect for tea. Not typically used in cooking.

Flower color: lavender

Moroccan Mint
Oregano

Perfect with tomato sauce, oregano is used in a variety of cuisines, including those of Italy, Mexico, Spain, Cuba, Colombia, Greece, and Brazil.

Greek Oregano
Origanum vulgare hirtum

Spicy herb with a flavor so intense it numbs the end of your tongue when fresh. Its strong flavor doesn't hold up well to prolonged cooking.

Flower color: white

Greek Oregano

Italian Oregano
Origanum x majoricum

A cross of oregano with marjoram. Blends well with basil and tarragon.

Most common form of cheap oregano sold!

Flower color: pink

Italian Oregano

Showy Pink Oregano
Origanum sipyleum

Nice for dried flower arrangements, this oregano maintains its color for at least a year when dried. Not particularly tasty.

Flower color: pink, purple

Showy Pink Oregano
Parsley

Italian Parsley
Petroselenium crispum, cv.

Commonly used as a garnish, the edible sprig is high in vitamin C, vitamin A, several B vitamins, calcium, and iron. Due to its high chlorophyll content, it's a natural breath freshener.

Flower color: white

Italian Parsley
Rosemary

Rosemary
Rosmarinus officinalis

Described as piney, sweet, and mint-like, with a finish of ginger. Combines well with a variety of meats and fish. Rosemary also enhances several vegetables and complements other herbs. Excellent in a variety of marinades, sauces, and soups.

Flower color: pale blue clusters

Rosemary

Pink Rosemary
Rosmarinus cv. "Majorica Pink"

Produces long branches that twist around plant, then cascade; blooms almost continuously.

Flower color: pale pink

Pink Rosemary
Sage

Native to the Mediterranean, culinary sages are best used fresh, but they can be dried. Sage is good with pork, sausage, lamb, other meats, and cheeses. It is often combined with thyme and used with beans and in soups. Use sage with fruits in vinegars; if the vinegar is a light-colored elixir, try one of the variegated forms. The flowers make an attractive garnish in salads, butters, soft cheeses, and ice cubes.

Garden Sage
Salvia officinalis

Buds reminiscent of oddly shaped Easter eggs; they look as if someone took a wax crayon and made bands, dipped the egg in pale green, removed the wax, and then dipped it in pale purple. Shooting up to three feet tall with its blooms, garden sage is a purple delight.

Flower color: purple

Garden Sage

Golden Sage
Salvia officinalis icterina

Can be used in any recipe calling for sage. Fresh leaves make an attractive garnish for roast chicken or turkey.

Flower color: blue. Rarely blooms.

Golden Sage

Pineapple Sage
Salvia elegans

While pineapple sage does have a pineappley fragrance, its only real use in cooking is as a fresh edible flower. The flowers are reminiscent of honeysuckle and make a colorful addition to salads, fruit cocktails, or any garnish. Their vibrant red color complements many dishes—particularly attractive with yellow or green bell peppers. Flowers can be sugared and used to garnish cakes or cookie platters.Great for attracting hummingbirds to the garden.

Flower color: bright red. Tubular shape.

Pineapple Sage

Purple Sage
Salvia officinalis purpurescens

Can be used in any recipe calling for sage.

Flower color: lavender

Purple Sage

Tricolor Garden Sage
Salvia officinalis tricolor

Irregular pattern of variegation in these leaves is stunning in the garden and on the plate. Use tricolor garden sage as a garnish or in place of garden sage in any recipe.

Flower color: purple. Rarely blooms.

Tricolor Garden Sage
Sorrel

French Sorrel
Rumex scutatus

Sorrel is a sumptuous lemon-flavored herb best enjoyed in early spring. The young, tangy leaves give a lemon lift to soups and salads. Older leaves may be dried and added to winter soups and stews.

French Sorrel
Tarragon

Tarragon is commonly known as a flavoring for vinegar and is used in pickles, relishes, prepared mustards, and sauces. Tarragon also goes well with fish, meat, soups, and stews, and is often used in tomato and egg dishes. Tarragon adds distinctive flavor to sauces.

French Tarragon
Artmesia dracanculus sativa

Spicy anise flavor turns ordinary main dishes into masterpieces. Tarragon goes well with meat and vegetables and is a top choice in any hearty recipe. It is traditionally one of the constituents of the herb blends.

French Tarragon

Spanish Tarragon
Tagetes lucida

Perhaps the best known of the "abnormal" marigolds. Deliciously blessed with the sweetness of licorice, this dark-green, herbaceous perennial is easy to grow. It flowers only where winter comes very late. And unlike the leaves, the flowers are of no real value; they are small, single, gold daisy-shaped flowers that taste like grass.

Spanish Tarragon
Thyme

Thyme is often included in seasoning blends for poultry and stuffing and also commonly used in fish sauces, chowders, and soups. It goes well with lamb and in eggs, custards, and croquettes. Thyme often is paired with tomatoes.

Hi Ho Silver Thyme
Thymus cv.

Can be used in any recipe calling for thyme.

Flower color: pinkish lavender

Hi Ho Silver Thyme

Lemon Thyme
Thymus citridorus

Can be used in any recipe calling for lemon juice, lemon zest or lemon flavoring. Added to marinades, it pairs well with fish and chicken.

Flower color: pink

Lemon Thyme

Pennsylvania Dutch Tea Thyme
Thymus pulegioides cv.

Leaves and flowers are used in tea and can be used to cook with. Flowers can be used as garnish.

Flower color: pink

Pensylvania Dutch Tea Thyme