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Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Complete Spring Salad Snipped for the Rusted Garden

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There are several ways to harvest salads from the garden. The method I use is to pick leaves and flowers from greens and herbs. I don't typically grow lettuces to maturity anymore. I just cut leaves or cut the lettuces when small and leave the roots in the ground. They will grow again. I prefer the freshness versus a big cut head sitting in the refrigerator.

Here is what you can get from an early Spring garden. Keep in mind I have greens and onions that over-wintered. Something you can prepare for in the Fall.

Batavian Endive - The Rusted Garden: Gary Pilarchik

The 'Batavian' endive is slightly bitter and has a creamy texture. Most greens are less bitter in the Spring because of the cool weather. I cut three clumps from my containers and left the roots in the soil. I just set it on the deck and picked out the good leaves.

Greens Cut at the Roots so it Regrows: Gary Pilarchik
A Few Leaves of 'Red Russian' Kale: Gary Pilarchik
Peas I Planted Back in March: Gary Pilarchik

Do you know what pea leaves taste like? Have you used them in salads? They are a great tasting sweet green with a hint of pea taste to them. Take a few from plants here and there. You don't want to harm growth. A few leaves won't matter.

Pea Leaves are Great in Salads: Gary Pilarchik
An Onion from the Container that Over-Wintered: Gary Pilarchik

You need an onion in any respectable Spring salad. You can use the whites and green stem. The parsley is what I started in January in seed trays. Next year I can start it in February. It is getting to large for the cups. A few parsley leaves adds a nice flavor contrast. Parsley is also sweeter in the cool weather.

Parsley in a Cup - The Rusted Garden: Gary Pilarchik

Here are the Food Network money shots. I think I would love having a job taking pictures of vegetables. The salad is dressed with vinegar, oil and salt. Nothing fancy as to let the flavors of the salad come through. It tasted great. I had it right after work and it was picked to order and packed with flavor. It went from garden to bowl in about 20 minutes.

Fresh Picked Garden Greens - The Rusted Garden: Gary Pilarchik
A Dressed Mixed Greens Spring Salad: Gary Pilarchik


  1. That does look very good. Good post. Thanks for sharing

  2. My spring lettuce has been growing like crazy too. I have a mix of musclun,buttercrunch and romain and have to give half of it to friends.

    1. Every year I am amazed at how much a backyard garden can produce. Lettuce is one of the great vegetables for ease of growing and ease of sharing. Good luck with the season Sounds like your off to a good start! My lettuce will be there in about 10 days.


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