Can You Identify All of These Leafy Greens From a Description?
By: Jennifer Post
Image: istetiana / Moment / Getty Images
About This Quiz
Leafy greens are extremely high in nutrients like vitamin B, and also help your body fight against diabetes, weight gain and aging. While they are not a cure for any type of disease, eating a diet rich in these greens can help you feel good, and may even prevent illnesses in the future. Of course not all greens are healthy for all people, just like anything else in life. Gone are the day when iceberg lettuce was the only option for sandwiches and salads, although it still has its place in the world.
Choosing which leafy greens to eat when doesn't have to be hard. The hardest part is differentiating all of your options. Some can look so similar, culinary schools have entire classes devoted to being able to identify which ones are which. The good thing is, most of them will be sold in containers and clearly labeled so that you know what you're getting. It really does take the guess work out of it. This quiz will not be so easy! When looking at leafy greens, there are very distinct characteristics that can help tell the difference, but only if you really pay attention. So do you think you can identify all these leafy greens based solely on a description? Find out!
Which nutrient dense, leafy green is dark in color and can either be curled around the edges, or flat?
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Kale contains way more than the Daily Value for vitamin K, vitamin A and vitamin C, and is one of the most nutrient-dense foods. Eating it raw is the best way to get all the nutrients, since heat gets rid of many, but there are plenty to go around, so even cooked kale is healthy.
Of the choices below, which one is an immature green, roughly measuring 1-3 inches, that come in a variety of seeds?
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Microgreens, in their heyday, were used as garnishes for fancy meals, but nowadays they are used in salads, on sandwiches and side dishes all on their own. These micro versions carry up to 40 percent more nutrients than their full grown counterparts.
Similar to kale and cabbage, which leafy green has thick leaves and a bitter taste?
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Collard greens are a staple in southern cooking, and cooking them is the only way they are palatable. The low and slow cooking process cooks out the bitterness and makes the greens tender enough to eat on their own.
With the waxy feel of the raw leaf and dark, uniform color, this green is great raw or cooked. Which is it?
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If you're looking to feed a crowd, you will need massive amounts of spinach. It contains a decent amount of water, so as it cooks, it cooks down to almost nothing. It is high in vitamin K, vitamin A and manganese.
Coming in either green, white or purple tight heads, which leafy green is handy for slaws, salads and traditional Irish meals?
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Cabbage is a lot more versatile than people think. It can be braised, boiled, roasted or even eaten raw. It can also be fermented and turned into sauerkraut or kimchi. In animals, these foods were shown to have cancer-protective properties.
The tops of their dark red counterparts, these green leaves a lighter green in color with a red vein running along the middle. What are they?
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People often don't realize that beet greens are edible. Not only are they edible, they are rich in beta-carotene, lutein and many other nutrients. They can be used in salads, soups, sautéed or eaten on their own as a side dish.
With long stems and little leaves at the top, which green, related to arugula, is shown above?
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Watercress is a spicy lettuce that is an aquatic plant from the same family as arugula and mustard greens. There are no studies to confirm, but watercress has been used in herbal remedies for centuries to heal various ailments.
Which lettuce, with its tight bulb and leafy top, has a crunchy texture and mostly used in salads?
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Romaine lettuce is a good source of vitamins A and K and is a staple is salad mixes. Studies in rats have shown that romaine lettuce improved levels of blood lipids, but more studies need to be done to determine its benefits for people.
The above green has dark green leaves and a thick stalk that comes in a variety of colors. Can you identify it?
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Swiss chard is often used is Mediterranean cooking and comes from the same family as beets and spinach. It is chock full of potassium. manganese and vitamins A, C and K. It can also be beneficial in lowering blood sugar levels
It has a peppery taste, small leaves, and is also known as rocket or rucola. What's its name?
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Just like other leafy greens, arugula is packed with nutrients like B9 and K. It can be used in salads, as a garnish, and has even been used cosmetically and medicinally. It also has natural occurring nitrate, which may help widen your blood vessels.
Less well-known because of its growing difficulty, which leafy green is curly and crispy?
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Endive is a popular vessel for things like chilled seafood salads, but they are also good in salads or cooked. It has a nutty and mildly bitter flavor, but not too bitter to be unable to be eaten raw.
A Chinese cabbage, it has thick, dark green leaves and a white bulb.
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Bok choy is a Chinese cabbage that has a baby version and more full-grown version. Both are great for braising, roasting or sauteing and have a very clean flavor. It contains selenium, which aids in cognitive health.
The leaves of a root vegetable, which leafy greens are long and green in appearance and have a spicy flavor?
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Turnip greens contain more nutrients than the turnip itself. They have a strong and spicy flavor, so they are better enjoy cooked versus raw. In most recipes, turnip greens can actually be used to replace kale or spinach.
Which leafy green, which is actually red, has a tight bulb and tight leaves?
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Radicchio is also known as Italian chicory, as it is used in a lot of Italian dishes. It has a spicy and bitter taste, but that mellows out when it's been grilled or cooked in some other way. However, people do also eat it raw.
Only the young leaves, which are big, green and flat, are eaten. It's usually cooked twice to get rid of the acrid taste. Can you name it?
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Taro is a tropical plant grown in many locations, and is mostly grown for its corms. However, the leaves are also eaten. The leaves have to be cooked, twice in fact, because the plant is toxic when raw.
Which leafy green, that looks like a dandelion but isn't, and can be an invasive weed, is pictured?
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Catsear goes by many names including false dandelion and flatweed. It is an edible herb, but in some places is a noxious, invasive weed. The leaves and roots are the most commonly harvested, and while bland in flavor, the leaves can be eaten raw or cooked.
Which lacy, leafy green is the leaf of a seed by the same name?
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Mustard greens can be eaten raw as they are less bitter and more peppery than other dark greens such as Swiss chard. Put them in salads, or cook them in oil on the stove until the leaves are wilted.
The light green leaves and rose-like appearance are signature to this lettuce. Can you identify it?
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Butter lettuce has soft, buttery leaves that are amazing in salads, used as wraps, or on your favorite sandwich. They shouldn't be cooked, as it is way too delicate a leaf. A cup of this lettuce has less than 10 calories.
With its higher water content, this crunchy and pale green lettuce is perfect for salads. Which is it?
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While iceberg lettuce has nearly no nutritional value since it's mostly water, it does serve a purpose. Its crunch can bring good value to foods like sandwiches, tacos and salad when mixed with other greens.
A member of the chicory family, which leafy green has a white bulb and curly, light green leaves?
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Escarole is in the same family as frisee and endive. It is less bitter than the other members of its family, so it's a great salad green or green to be eaten raw in some way. Escarole is high in many vitamins and low in calories.
Which green, with dark leaves that look like the edges would be sharp, is a sturdy plant grown in the US?
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Chaya, also known as tree spinach, is toxic when raw so they should be cooked. The cooking process also cooks out the stinging hairs on some varieties that have them.
This leafy green produces crisp, moist and mildly flavored stems for which they are harvested. Do you know its name?
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Celtuce seems like the word lettuce jumbled together for some kind of word game, but it's a name given to lettuce that's grown for its thick stem. Celery is a stem that derives from celtuce and is especially popular in China.
Out of the choices below, which leafy green looks a lot like spinach and arugula combined?
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Sorrel leafy green herb that grows perennially, and serves the same purposes as any salad green with the addition of being an herb. It has a sharp taste that adds a bold flavor to soups and sauces, as well.
What are the dark green, spoon shaped leaves that form a rosette shape and are popular in Asian food?
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A version of bok choy, tatsoi is grown specifically for its greens. It's grown throughout the world and its leaves have a creamy texture and subtle, distinct flavor. This green can be eaten cooked either by braising or sautéing.
Also called rapini, this leafy green vegetable somewhat resembles broccoli, but does not form a head. Can you name it?
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Broccoli rabe is seen a lot in Italian cooking as a side dish or a topping on a sandwich. It is very fibrous and a bit bitter, so cooking it is the best way to handle this leafy green.
Can you identify the green with a stringy stem, white flowers throughout the growing season and pointed, oval shaped leaves?
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Common chickweed is a cool weather plant native to Europe. It's considered an early spring plant, but dies off when it gets too hot. Chickweed is great raw in salads or on sandwiches, but it also hold up to being cooked.
Can you identify this oval shaped leaf, with small, greenish-brown flowers?
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Most people know plantains as the starchy vegetable that looks like a banana. But broadleaf plantain is a nutrient dense leaf vegetable that is very high in calcium and other vitamins. It is majorly used medicinally, but the young leaves are edible as a salad green.
This leafy green comes from the flower, which happens to be the state flower of Vermont. What is it?
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Widely grown as a crop to fertilize other plants, the flowers and leaves of this plant are edible. They can be used as a garnish, but you can also use them in salads just like you would any herbaceous green.
Sturdy and compact, which leafy green has shiny, slightly serrated, narrow leaves?
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Thai basil can be eaten raw or cooked and is widely used in Southeast Asian cuisine, including Thai and Vietnamese. It is used a lot in curries and noodles in broth. Thai basil, when mixed with other flavorings, is also used a condiment in Vietnamese cooking.
The leaf of which green below can be curly or flat, and is used mostly as a garnish?
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Parsley is widely used in Italian cooking but it has made its way to many other dishes as well. It is great as a garnish, mixed into salads, smoothies, soups, sauces and marinades. It really is a versatile herb.
Which aquatic plant produce thick, soft leaves that form a rosette shape?
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Water lettuce is not edible, but rather is used mostly in aquariums to provide cover and shelter or the fish. It also serves as a form of algae control. If the water in which it grows is contaminated, the plant will take on an invasive weed quality.
With wide, thick, grass-looking blades, which option below is used as a rice substitute?
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Palmgrass, native to Asia, is typically cultivated as an ornamental crop, but in Papua New Guinea it is grown as a vegetable, and its grain can be eaten as a rice substitute.
Sometimes called French parsley because of its similar appearance, which leafy green adds mild flavor to dishes?
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Chervil is a mild flavored herb that is used mostly in French cooking to season poultry, seafood and young spring vegetables. It is one of the four traditional "fines herbes" along with tarragon, chives and parsley.
In its fresh form, this leafy herb doesn't have as much flavor as its dried counterpart. With its purple flowers and olive green, spade shaped leaves, which of the below is it?
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Oregano is part of the spice blend, Italian Spices, and is much more flavorful when dried. Oregano is also used in essential oils that are used medicinally and have been since ancient times.
These leaves are oblong, gray-green, and have very short, soft hairs. Which one is it?
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Sage is a leafy herb with many uses. It is used in cooking, essential oils, and when its dried and burned it is said to rid spaces of negative energy. When eaten, it has savory, slightly peppery flavor.
Related to rosemary and thyme, which leaf looks like a softer version of rosemary?
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Savory is an herb that is used a lot in Armenian Bulgarian and Italian cuisine. It is especially used in the spice mix, Herbs de Provence, and is the main ingredient. The Acadian stew, fricot, heavily features savory.
With a thick stem and small, fragrant leaves, which below also grow small, white flowers?
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Thyme is a perennial and is quite sturdy as a plant. It can handle drought, deep freezes, and bright, hot, sunny weather. It is used in spice blends, in savory dishes, and also in sweet treats like apple pies. It can also infuse simple syrup for fun cocktails.
Which green below has long, wider in the middle leaves that are shaped like the tip of a lance?
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Tarragon is delicious when used to season chicken, fish and eggs, though its uses vary depending on location. In some places it is used as a flavoring for soda, in others it's used to make vinegars, and even sweet cake.
Also called mâche, this plant with sweet and tender leaves, this is a popular salad green in France. Which is it?
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Lamb's lettuce is best from May to November and can be eaten raw or cooked. Make sure to thoroughly wash it first, as it tends to be gritty if not. It has a tangy flavor and gets its name because the leaves look like lamb tongues.
Which green, also called Japanese Mustard, looks like large arugula and shares its peppery flavor?
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Mizuna has a sharp, peppery flavor much like mustard, hence the nickname. It is great to add to salads, and while not often found on its own, it is usually part of specialty salad mixes.
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