Mesclun (Spring Salad Mix) is a mixture of small, young salad leaves which was originated in Provence, France.

Mesclun traditionally includes any of the following types of salad leaves: arugula, leafy lettuces, endive, spinach, Swiss chard, mustard greens, dandelion, frisée, mizuna, oak leaf, mâche, radicchio, and sorrel. Today, salad leaves such as arugula and spinach are also sold separately or as a mix in the bagged salad section of the supermarket.


Arugula (Rocket Salad, Italian Cress) has a  peppery and slightly bitter flavor.


Belgium Endive has crunchy, slightly bitter leaves that is often used to make hors d’oeuvres, but can also be chopped and added to salads, or braised as a side dish. Select heads with yellow tips; those with green tips are more bitter.


Spinach is a flat leaf, smooth leaf. Spinach with small, narrow stems–they’re younger and more tender. Always use fresh spinach as the leaves lose nutrients as they age.

Swiss chard

Swiss chard is used much like spinach, except that it has a beet-like flavor and a heavier texture.

Mustard greens

Mustard greens come in red and green varieties which both have a peppery bite.


Dandelion or dandelion greens have a somewhat bitter flavor. Older dandelion greens should be cooked; younger ones can be served raw as a salad green.


Frisee or curly endive or chicory is used as a crisp, bitter green in salads or cook it as a side dish. The outer leaves are green and somewhat bitter; the pale inner leaves are more tender and mild.


Mizuna or Japanese greens or spider mustard has tender leaves and a pleasant, peppery flavor.


Mâche also known as corn salad, lamb’s lettuce or field lettuce has tender leaves and a very mild flavor.


Radicchio (Rosso) (pronounced rah-DEEK-ee-oh), red chicory, red Italian chicory or chioggia has beautiful coloring and a slightly bitter flavor. The most common variety, radicchio rosso (left), is round, while the treviso radicchio is elongated.


Sorrel (Sour grass) is a sour herb popular in France.


Cress (watercress, upland cress, curly cress, land cress) is a peppery green that’s great in salads, sandwiches, and soups but is highly perishable.


Escarole has sturdy leaves and a slightly bitter flavor. Young escarole leaves are tender enough to add to salads.

Tat soi

Tat soi

Tat soi (Spoon Cabbage) has an interesting spoon-like shape and a peppery flavor.

Broccoli Sprouts

Broccoli Sprouts, although not used in mesclun, offer a tasty addition to any salad. Sprung from newly germinated seeds, these are rich in sulforaphane, a cancer-fighting compound and have a pleasant, peppery flavor. Most other sprouts won’t add much in the way of nutrients–or calories–to your diet.