I find myself posting less frequently these days, not that there hasn’t been anything worth mentioning. Our peasant fare has been as pleasant as ever. It’s just that my focus has been on the garden. There has been much progress there, but there is no point in boring anyone with daily reports of small incremental changes.
I am happy to say that the garden is now providing enough salad ingredients that we can enjoy salad anytime we want, every day if we wish. Ingredients purchased at a store or even a farmers’ market don’t come close to the tender crisp freshness of a just picked salad.
The ingredients harvested from the garden for my salad this evening were, lettuce, arugula, spinach, red Russian kale and radish. Even the radish leaves were tender enough to eat. Of all the varieties of kale Red Russian is my favorite. If eaten when it is young, as it should be, it is tender and sweet, including the stems.
Speaking of fresh, crisp and tender… Have you been given the impression that salad ingredients must be rinsed in cold water to keep them crisp and fresh? I am here to tell you it is not true. I wash everything with very warm water just as it comes out of the hot water faucet, even tender greens like lettuce, cilantro and spinach. Limp greens will be revived much better with warm water than with ice cold water.
Of course the water shouldn’t be so hot that it cooks the tender greens, but if you can stand to hold your hands under the water the plants will benefit from it. What it boils down to (Please don’t do that!) is that the salad greens need water: warm, cool or cold. But in my opinion they prefer warm to very warm water. They just need water.