I was very glad I’d stashed a bag of our own herbs, salad and spinach leaves for a weekend away. It meant I could start my Saturday with herbed scrambled eggs and spinach without leaving the comfort of our delightful cottage. There was enough salad for lunch that day too – most of the way up Mount Holdsworth at Powell Hut.
This is a picture of one of my winter salad favourites ‘mibuna’ – an easy to grow Asian green that does well in cooler weather. Joy Larkcom’s book Oriental Vegetables: The Complete Guide for the Gardening Cook has many other ideas too.
Consumer magazine recently tested 15 ready-to-eat salads from supermarkets. Only 3 of the 15 mixes rated as good. Most of the rest were “fair”; three were “below average”. I’m as susceptible to the charms of the easy option as the next person but Consumer recommends washing ‘ready to eat’ salad, even though manufacturers usually wash salad leaves in a ‘chlorine rinse’. I soak garden greens in salted water for ten minutes to remove any bugs and then spin in a salad spinner to dry them.
Given that I can buy a packet of seeds (enough to grow about 1,000 lettuces) for the same price as a bag of salad (which I still have to wash anyhow), I’ll stick to dashing out for a few leaves for my lunch or taking some with me when I travel. Even if you haven’t got a garden you can grow a back step salad.
The Rhode Island red hens have gone to meet a young Rhode Island red rooster in Pauahatanui.