07 January 2010

Salad Greens ... Dreams of Spring's Fare


When Silent Bob and I moved back from Germany, we left more than just friends and the local marktplatz behind. One of the staples of our diet had been a small and lucious salad green called mache... feldsalat, to the Germans. The leaves are dark green, like spinach, but the flavor is lighter and has a woody, nutty character. It is a winter green there, available for almost all year. It disappears only in the summer, when the other lettuce greens are so bountiful. I miss its lush show of verdancy and super fresh flavor... and I have been determined to find seed so that I can have some growing in our garden!

Found the seed last fall. Hurray! I was feeling so smug until I happened on an NPR story that brought me up short. Get ready, America! Another entrepreneur is about to sell us the 'latest and greatest'. I can hardly wait to see the prices on a salad's worth of mache greens... I will be planting my own thank-you very much! I can only hope that mache makes its way into our everyday diet. It's prolific, healthful, has good staying power in the fridge, and should be relatively inexpensive (notice, I say 'should')!

Mache: America's Next Lettuce Love?

Come Spring, I plan to canvas the area farmers' markets to see if anyone is growing it in the area. Last year, it was a futile search. I will also be handing my seed to Silent Bob when he makes the first plantings in the veggie beds. When the crop starts coming, I'll share my salad recipes! Until then, grab a seed catalogue and send for some seed for your Spring salad greens! Look for mache, lamb's lettuce, or feldsalat - it's all the same stuff and it's yummy!

As an afterward... readers, have you found your own source for this green? Let The Secret Garden know where you're getting and who is supplying your fresh greens... thanks!

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