Mâche
Also called lamb’s lettuce or corn salad, these beautiful, rosette-shaped, delicate greens are often prepackaged in bags or plastic shells. Look for dark green, dry leaves. Refrigerate up to one week. Sweet and nutty with a buttery texture, mâche (rhymes with nosh) shines in salads with a simple vinaigrette, accompanied by artichoke hearts and olives. Toss with roasted beets, pecans, and shaved Parmesan; drizzle with balsamic dressing. Sauté with wild mushrooms and serve with scallops or atop a goat-cheese pizza.

A 3-ounce serving provides 100 percent of your daily vitamin A and 50 percent of vitamin C. Also rich in iron, folic acid, and potassium.

—Elisa Bosley

Mâche Salad with Candied Pecans, Pears, and Gorgonzola
(Serves 4)

1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
1/2 cup pecans
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
8 cups mâche or baby spinach (5–6 ounces)
1 large Bosc pear, thinly sliced
1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
Edible flowers, for garnish (optional)

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together raspberry vinegar, honey, and olive oil. Season with sea salt, if desired.

2. Heat a small skillet over medium-high flame and coat lightly with cooking spray. Add pecans and drizzle with maple syrup. Stir pecans constantly until lightly coated with syrup and beginning to roast, about 5 minutes (watch carefully to avoid burning). Spread pecans to cool on a plate or piece of aluminum foil.

3. Place mâche in a large bowl. Add candied pecans, sliced pear, and Gorgonzola; toss. Drizzle with about half of the raspberry dressing and toss until well-coated. Divide salad among four plates, top with edible flowers (if using), and serve.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Calories: 257 calories
% fat calories: 55
Fat: 16g
Saturated Fat: 4g
Cholesterol: 20mg
Protein: 6g
Carbohydrate: 23g
Fiber: 4g
Sodium: 189mg

Recipe provided by James Rouse, ND, the creator of Optimum Wellness and The Fit Kitchen, seen weekly on NBC’s KUSA television news.