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Salad Leaves – Terry Tuxford, UK

We talk about green food for our birds and the need for it to be clean and contamination free. So what better place to choose is than from the salad counter of the local supermarket where pre-washed salad greens are available at acceptable prices.

There are many different varieties of salad leaves available. When buying look for fresh, blemish-free leaves and avoid those that droop or wilt. Buy ready mixed salad leaves or choose your own selection of lettuce and salad leaves to make a mixed salad, full of different flavours, textures and colours. Fresh herbs such as coriander, basil or parsley can also be added for extra flavour and texture. This will give your budgerigars a feast that they will surely relish.

Here are details of a few items that you may find available in the shops.

Baby leaf spinach

One of the most popular salad leaves, baby spinach is soft, yet thick with a pleasant blandness.

 

 

Cos

The elongated leaves of this variety make it easily recognisable; it has a firm texture and a subtle nutty flavour.

 

Frisée

These feathery, curly bitter salad leaves are a member of the chicory family and are also known as curly endive. The leaves range in colour from yellow-white to yellow-green and are available all year.

 

Gourmet aromatic herb salad

A freshly prepared mixture of distinctively flavoured leaves, including green oak leaves, baby lollo rosso, rocket, chervil and coriander.

Iceberg lettuce

A crisphead lettuce with an excellent dense, crunchy texture and a pale green colour, it will keep fresh for up to 5 days.

 

Lamb’s lettuce

The small spoon-shaped leaves of this variety add interest to mixed leaf salads. It has a nutty flavour and is also known as corn salad.

 

Little gem

A small compact lettuce with crispy, round leaves. They have firm hearts and a distinct flavour.

 

Mizuna

Similar in appearance to rocket, this Oriental leaf has a hot, mustardy flavour.

 

Radicchio

With its distinctive pinky, red leaves radicchio it is a member of the chicory family, although it has a less marked bitter flavour. Its leaves have a chewy texture similar to cabbage leaves.

 

Red mustard

A red or green Oriental leaf with a mild mustard flavour.

 

Red oak leaf

A loose-hearted lettuce with deeply indented leaves – shaded and splashed with red, it has a soft texture.

 

Rocket (Roquette)

A strong, peppery leaf with jagged-edged indented leaves and a pleasant bite.

 

Ruby chard

Related to spinach, ruby chard has bright red veins and stems. It has a glossy, soft texture and a sharp taste.

 

Sweet romaine

A sweet lettuce with long, thin leaves and a crisp mid-rib. It should be left whole or torn into small pieces rather than being cut with a knife as this turns the edges brown.

 

Wild organic rocket

Wild organic rocket leaves are smaller than standard rocket leaves and have a stronger, peppery flavour.