Today’s salad

We have a small garden and grow fruit a few vegetables and a variety of salad crops.  Most days we can pick a salad (sparsely in December and January) and this is always a combination of cultivated and volunteer crops, including many regarded as weeds.  In summer we grow tomatoes in a small greenhouse. It is poorly located for winter (too shaded) but autumn sown rocket, claytonia, mustards and leaf beet provide early salads.  To give a flavour of the kind of salads we eat, rich in vitamins and minerals, here’s what we had for lunch today.  Note some of the wild and unusual species will not be to everyone’s taste.  Some people might not tolerate some of them (try a very little of anything new first) and its best to avoid large quantities of anything.  The two unusual Italian ones, Stridolo and Erba stella, are particularly recommended and seed can be located easily enough with an internet search.

Salad, 8 April

Sorrel *

Rocket *

Young hawthorn leaves (once known as “bread and butter” by many country children)*

Hairy bitter cress *

Land cress *

Water cress (from a 1 m. long stream fed by pump from small pond) *

Various oriental mustards *

Chives *

Wild garlic *

Nipplewort (Lapsana communis not usually a great option but volunteer plants inthe greenhouse produce quite soft leaves)

Dandelion (young leaves) *

Stridolo (aka Sculpit,  silene vulgaris) *

“Salad plantain” (Erba stella or bucks horn plantain – Plantago coronopus) *

Claytonia (miners’ lettuce) *

Sweet dock (red sorrel)

Young kale leaves (Cottagers’ and Cavolo nero) *

Babbington leek (Allium ampeloprasum babingtonii – young shoots from a cluster of bulbils) *

V young “Perennial Buckwheat” (Fagopyrum dibotrys) (invasive)

V young ground elder (or Bishops’ Weed, Aegopodium podagraria) (invasive) *

  • = recommended for flavour and/or texture
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