[gardeners] Salad Greens

Liz Albrook (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Wed, 17 Dec 1997 12:17:18 +0000

After making the earlier post I checked the mail box to discover a 
Cook's Garden catalogue.  It's just about my favorite seed catalogue, 
mostly because of the many varieties of salad green seeds they offer. 
It is also the catalogue I'm least likely to buy my salad seeds from 
because I don't know what to buy and what not to buy.  I could easily 
spend over $100 just on greens seeds.

Some of you have a lot of experience with the various greens for 
salads.  I thought that since it's catalogue and ordering season we 
could share our knowledge and maybe help out poor ignorant folk such 
as me, myself and I figure out what to order.

A couple of my favorite non-lettuce salad greens are arugula 
selvetica and radish leaves.  Arugula selvetica -- the one with 
small, deeply cut leaves often called wild arugula -- has a taste 
that large-leaved cultivated arugula can't match.  It's peppery - 
tangy, an instant pick me up for a simple sandwich or mixed green 
salad.  It has a clearer flavor to my taste buds than does cultivated 
arugula.  I find that cultivated arugula is not as spicy and has 
"horse piss" overtones.

Radish leaves were a mistake that worked.  I sent Ray out to pick 
leaves for a salad and he picked radish along with the others.  It 
took me a while to track down what tasted so good.  Radish leaves are 
peppery and earthy but lack the tang of arugula. There's a hint of 
radish flavor to them -- they almost make your nose tingle.  We were 
eating salads for a while there that were almost half radish leaves.  
(I also sauteed radish seed pods and they were hot and tasty.)

The other thing I enjoyed greatly in salads were the thinnings from 
the mustard family plants.  We had turnips, kohlrabi, mustards, 
collards and a few others I can't remember.  When very young these 
didn't have a lot of "mustardy" taste but provided some "tooth" to 
the salads.  

None of my mache seeds germinated.  I don't know why.

Anyone want to share their experiences?  I'd like to know what you 
consider a must have item (mine are arugula selvetica and radish 
leaves) and what you wouldn't bother with.