Brisbane Local Food

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Spring/Summer Salad Greens and Hints for Salads

It is time to start planting those Spring/Summer Salad Greens if you haven't started already. Hopefully we will find something new for you to Plant.  There are so many possibilities for turning that Salad into something Special. I thought it would be a nice idea to have Members list a Favourite Green or Other Salad Additive. We could also put our Favourite Spring/Summer Recipes into the Recipe Section of the Forum.

These are some of my Favourite Salad Leaf Vegetables - If you don't mind a little Bitter in your Greens (wonderful in a tossed Green or Italian Salad), you might like to try growing Some Endive,Species include Cichorium endivia, Cichorium pumilum, and Cichorium intybus. Also Chicory, Cichorium intybus is another and the Flowers are also Edible, there are also a few varieties. Salad Burnett, Sanguisorba minor  is another. Look forward to seeing everyone's suggestions. 


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Comment by Elaine de Saxe on August 25, 2016 at 17:15

I hope those new pots are wicking pots Dianne. You'll have your work cut out for you if they're just ordinary too-draining pots.

Joseph one of our members, uses shallow seedling trays (flats) to grow his Asian greens. He uses a greenhouse, keeping out the white butterflies. Most of the Asian greens are members of the cabbage family :-\

Anyway he plants a lot of flats and uses the plants whole, not picking leaf by leaf. Probably for stir-fries rather than 'salad'. It's a keen idea of you've the sheltered space. Most of those greens prefer coolth to warmth which is a pest for we who love crunchy greens in summer.

Comment by Dianne Caswell on August 25, 2016 at 16:48

Love your recipe suggestions, Dave. Will certainly be trying them out.

Comment by Dianne Caswell on August 25, 2016 at 16:38

I have been thinking of a way to plant more Greens as I have just received some packets of seeds and I am excited.

New varieties (new to me) of Endive, Mustards and Mustard Greens (var. Streaks, Frills, Wave, Curled & Stem). I was trying to think of a way I could plant a lot of them but not put them in my Vegie Patch or Bags, I have found a solution. We love our Greens and they will be a welcome addition to our menu.  

I will put up some mesh (or rather Graham will), and I will be able to hang as many of these as I need on it. You can attach a drip system to the pots but it is close to the water tank so I don't think I will bother. The pots are 20cms L x 20cm W x 17cms D, not a bad size.

Below you will see a Backyard Under Refurbishment, hopefully finished by our GV.

Comment by Dave Riley on August 8, 2016 at 1:29

Fav not greens reliant: diced cucumber (or prickly pear or wee chokos); chopped parsley (heaps of) and spring onions; crushed garlic; diced tomatoes and chopped mint folded with vinegar or lemon juice and olive oil. Allowed to marinate for at least 15 minutes before consumption.

But I reckon  greens only live when combined with olive oil and vinegar (or lemon juice).  A simple celebration. A great Balsamic is to die for. Always extra virgin olive oil. Option: apple cider vinegar with mother. All poured at table from their separate vessels.

Like many of my uncooked preferences this mix moves the menu into the salsa domain. Once you are salsified, the world is your oyster.

Inasmuch as I have a recipe: you go outback and forage.

 I have tried,but I cannot take keenly to Purslane. For that sort of texture experience, prickly pear nopales are immeasurably better and more flavourful.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on August 7, 2016 at 22:00

When all else fails in summer, there's always sprouts. I call them 'sprouts' coz that's what Mung Bean sprouts (or shoots) were called when I was first interested in them in the early '80s. Now they are called 'micro-greens' which is possibly a better term.

Anyway … Sunflower microgreens grow from bird seed just as well as from the expensive organic seeds. Gotta have the testa or seed coat on for the seeds to sprout. Grow thickly in a punnet, cut with scissors when about 3-4 inches high. Ditto for Buckwheat, thinner stems but just as delicious.

Peas do best now in winter. There's a heap of different seeds available these days for sprouting.

You'll always have some greens on hand when you go down the sprout road. Or microgreen road.

Comment by Dave Riley on August 7, 2016 at 21:34

I prefer the Chicory/Radicchio/Endive universe absolutely -- love 'em heaps -- as well as some of the Asian Greens. Bitterness rules my tongue and my olive oil/vinegar pour-pensity. Of late I'm much taken with a few Okinawan spinach leaves in that mix, also  Mizuna

Very generous plant.

So long as everything is cut-and-come-again.

My preferred lettuce is Oak Leaf(although it is tasteless, I like the shape)  and, while I try, I have trouble adapting rocket to my preferences. But 'wild rocket' I like -- although it is fiddly to harvest and use.

I also like chrysanthemum greens --shungiku.

The young tips of the Katuk bush are tasty in a salad...the older ones can tickle the throat a little.

I stay clear of many greens with a high oxalic acid content (esp if eaten raw) and others I prefer to use in cooked dishes. 

But I'm now growing Watercress....

Not well known is that many of the Chicory/Radicchio/Endive collective can be deliciously cooked.

Comment by Rob Collings on August 7, 2016 at 21:20

Cucumber... almost always!

Comment by Rob Collings on August 7, 2016 at 21:12

and Under Health Kick/Flavour ... large leaf watercress (seems to be less bitter than the small leaf).

Yet to add Brahmi & Rice Paddy Herb to a salad as well, but keen to try in small amounts.

Comment by Rob Collings on August 7, 2016 at 21:06

Great timing for new plantings Dianne.

Lettuce wins over lettuce substitutes (like Brazilian, Okinawa & tree spinach), as these can sometimes add an undesirable heavy or bitter taste if out of balance in the salad. I have found KangKong and perpetual spinach to be a better, more subtle substitute than the others. I have found most substitute lettuce to work in a salad so long as effort is made to keep a balanced flavour.

When it can grow, Cos is my favourite lettuce as there is a little bit of sweet and lots of crispy.

The listings below are partial and overlap, not usually combined to make some mega-salad.

As a majority base, I enjoy the old faithful salad companions ... Lettuce, Tomato, carrot, onion, capsicum, shallots, chives, peas (snow, sugarsnap or honey pod) & celery.

Flavour Treats ... Sun dried tomato, olives, cheese (swiss, chedder or crumbly feta), salted capers.

Dressing ... Apple Cider Vinegar, EV Olive Oil + small addition of mild wholegrain mustard . I also enjoy most instant shop bought dressings... I don't drown the salad in dressing.

Health Kick ... Combinded to make 10 to 20%  of salad - Gotu Kola, Kale, Wasabi, Mustard Greens, sprouts (especially snow pea sprouts on top), Okinawa Spinach  (yet to try it but purslane and always willing to try anything new that has an 'extra health claim')

Colour Options ... Red Lettuce, Red & Yellow capsicum & carrot, red mustards.

Favourite Red tomato for visual... Tigerella Tomato

Favourite Green tomato for visual... Green Zebra 

Favourate Tomato for taste... Black Russian... Wow! for home grown flavour.

With a list like that, why am I not eating salads multiple times a day? I'd have 3/4 of the above available at any one time, at a guess.

Least abundant standard ingredient at the moment ... Tomato! (just used the last available 3 ripe roamas today and there is a gap before I have abundant new tomatoes).

Comment by Sophie on August 7, 2016 at 18:18
Thanks Dianne, good topic here as my mid year resolution is to be self sufficient with greens by the end of the year! Ambitious but I think doable, baby steps. In terms of salad greens I ve got some edible chrysanthemum & mesclun mixed have raised from seed and my 'lettuce tango' are also doing ok (but will be interested to see how they go as we get warmer) and the ubiquitous parsley basil and chives. I have nasturiums and native violets to add to salad but rarely do. I have recently also invested in some amaranth and other seeds for sprouting, and did also get some endive for microgreens. Your sandwich Dianne is making me hungry!

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