Shopping in the Garden for Spring Salad Makings

spring salad

While we are all avoiding trips to the grocery store, it’s good to remember that the garden may offer much more interesting things to eat, anyway. Here I’ve combined the last of the arugula with shaved fennel and johnny jump-ups, which have jumped up everywhere in the gravel between my raised vegetable beds. These flowers are not only edible but truly tasty. Since their aroma is easily overwhelmed by vinaigrette, they are best eaten straight from the plant, but how they prettify a salad! I’ve added handfuls of tart, juicy haskaps, the first fruit of the year, always beating out strawberries by at least a week. And finally I’ve sprinkled over big green seeds of sweet cicely, a ferny plant of the carrot family whose roots, leaves, and seeds all taste sweetly of anise and are said to be helpful to the digestion. Safeway may have some fennel bulbs in stock, but otherwise none of these plants can be found there. Together they taste of springtime.

9 thoughts on “Shopping in the Garden for Spring Salad Makings”

    1. That’s an interesting article. I didn’t realize how much of the plant is edible–I’ve only ever eaten the flowers as salad toppers, but pickled flowers sound intriguing and I should try the seed pods.

  1. … and now that summer is here, I use amaranth (pigweed), lamb’s quarters, purslane etc for cooking greens. And dill flowers, fennel flowers, coriander berries etc for seasoning.. more so than in prior years.

    1. Sylvie, I think I based that recipe on one from the Extension Service. Because the jars are hermetically sealed, I didn’t change the basic method. But I think the boiling is intended to soften both the flavor and the texture of the garlic, just a bit.

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