Re: [gardeners] Salad Greens

George Shirley (
Wed, 17 Dec 1997 19:24:56

At 12:17 PM 12/17/97 +0000, you wrote:
>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.
One of the greens we experimented with this past summer (remember when it
was warm?) was New Zealand spinach. I came to enjoy it in salads and as a
cooked green. Dehydrated some and stored it away, yesterday I made a small
pot of soup and tossed in a handful of it and the soup was outstanding.
Also had put in a few chopped leaves of fresh sorrel, another favorite for
salads and in soups but nasty when cooked by itself. We also eat radish
greens, have for years, both raw and cooked. I prefer beet greens to the
beets themselves, have a different flavor.