Wild borage, deep-green chard, crisp lettuces, pink-tinged spinach, crunchy puntarelle and an abundance of broccolis and chicories — the array of greens (and red, yellows and oranges) makes the Roman vegetable markets among the most exciting sights in a city hardly lacking in visual interest.
Romaine lettuce is used as any salad green in Rome, but unlike other lettuces, it can also be cooked as an addition to other dishes or braised on its own and served as a contorno.
Similar to broccoli rabe, broccoletti make an excellent addition to pasta, or they can be served as a side dish, boiled and dressed with olive oil and lemon juice.
In Italy, whole spinach leaves are usually steamed and served with butter or lemon and olive oil. Spinach can also be sauteed with raisins and pine nuts; the smallest leaves are often sold for salads.
These fresh, slightly bitter salad greens are always served in Rome with a dressing made with anchovy and garlic.