Tender Greens

Jun 1, 2007

photo credit: Wikimedia Commons\Dinkum

There’s a new Leafy Green in town.  Have you heard of Tender Greens?  That’s the actual name.  I first encountered them last summer at the Baltimore Farmers Market, and this year they’re being grown at the farm in the mixed-lettuces beds.

Tender Greens look kind of like giant baby spinach.  They are, as the name implies, tender — like baby spinach or arugula.  They’re mild.  They’re pleasant.  I like them.

But what the heck kind of name is “Tender Green”??  Were all the good names taken?  In a mild leafy green world full of colleagues named mizuna, frisee, arugula (a.k.a. rocket), tat soi, and yukina savoy, it must be rough to just be known as Tender Green.

In addition to the silly name, Tender Greens are mysterious:  couldn’t find any on the web.  Nary a picture to share with you.  There are lots of references to tender greens as a generic young type of green veg, but that’s it.

So what’s the scoop?  Is Tender Green a nom-de-plume for some well-known green?  Is it a large and gentle cousin of spinach?  Is it the black sheep of the lettuce family?  These and more questions, to be answered in the future….