Spring is here, people, and never mind what the calendar says. Yesterday was beach weather, and last night’s salad was entirely grown in our own garden. It had a little of everything, which is the secret to early-season salads.
Maybe your lettuces are still tiny. Pick the largest leaf or two from each plant, snip a few side tendrils from your pea sprouts and a couple beet leaves, and you’ve got a fancy little salad.
Got an herb garden? Chop up fresh herbs and toss them in with your greens— think of it like an herb dressing, but fresher and better. I firmly believe you can use store-bought oil and vinegar (or whatever you like) and still claim the salad as 100% home-grown, so dress it with whatever makes you happy.
Most of our salad was volunteer miner’s lettuce, teased out from a bed full of weeds and rounded out with a couple leaves from every edible plant in the yard. It was mishmash of flavors: spicy Belle Isle cress, lemony sorrel, salty ficoïde glaciale, and some pineapple sage, because why not. Celery leaves and onion greens, parsley and mint — everything went into the bowl, and it was good.
Have you harvested anything from your garden yet?
Above: The old potato bed is full of weeds and volunteer miner’s lettuce. Dedicated foragers would probably consider most of the weeds edible — if you want to come over and sample whatever you can identify, just let me know. Especially if you’re keen on dandelion and burclover salad.
Below: More miner’s lettuce in the saffron bed. This is what happens when you let things go to seed. The beds in the background are strawberry (L) and rhubarb (R), in anticipation of summer desserts.