Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Salad Greens

During the cold months of winter the thought of salad makes my face cringe.  Its freezing cold and the last thing my body wants is anything that will only add to my coldness.  Instead I crave soups and stews, hot teas and lots of meat!  Foods that warm my Vatta body.

Its just the beginning of March, but here in the foothills of California, spring is slowly waking up and showing her face.  Daffodils are proudly displaying their yellow beauty while the wild chickweed is creeping throughout the garden.

Which means my body is warming up and beginning to crave those delicious spring greens that I love to take into my kitchen and turn into tasty salads.  Of course it isn't quite that warm yet, so I eat my spring salads next to the wood stove!

As I was working on my upcoming cooking class on salads, I was inspired to blog about the lovely offerings of spring.  Here are just a few of my favorite salad greens.

Arugula ~
Bitter and peppery, throw into any salad for some zing.  I especially love arugula mixed with cooked quinoa, dried fruit and nuts.

Bibb, Boston, Butterhead ~
Soft and tender, goes great in any salad and especially in sandwiches.  Butterhead is one of my favorites even though it is expensive.

Chickweed ~
A wild weed that grows crazy in my garden.  Only eat chickweed you know hasn't been sprayed or is not alongside roadways where it sucks up car fumes.  Add a handful to any salad, just be sure to get rid of the stems.

Curly Endive, Chicory, Frisee ~
Crisp and bitter, use a little to add variety to your salad.  I personally find the shape hard to get in my mouth, so I give it a good chop!

Dandelion ~
Use small tender leaves for salad, larger leaves can be cooked.  And yes you can eat them out of your backyard as long as you haven't sprayed chemicals!

Endive ~
Bitter and mild.  Use it like a scoop for tuna, chicken, and crab salads.

Escarole ~
Small leaves can be used in salad, otherwise I chop it up and throw it in soup.

Mesclun ~
A mixture of tender young greens usually arugula, frisee, radicchio, chard and herbs that can be used as a salad base.

Miner's Lettuce ~
Another wild weed that grows crazy in the spring.  Again make sure your harvesting weeds you know haven't been sprayed.

Radicchio ~
Bitter and peppery, a little goes a long way and makes a salad visually appealing.

Romaine ~
Crunchy and a good base for most salads, used in the classic Caesar salad.

And that is just a short list of greens one can use to make salad.  I encourage you to go to your favorite produce section and see what else they have in stock.  Or if you are lucky enough to have a farmers market happening in your neck of the woods, go talk to your farmer about any salad greens they may be growing! 

So I'm off to make some dinner and on the side I think I'll toss together a classic Caesar!

What are your favorite salad greens?


Want to learn to make some yummy salads with these delectable greens?

Salads & Dressings Cooking Class:
Wednesday March 16th
6:00 to 8:00
Private kitchen in Ione, CA  (address supplied when payment is made)

The Salads:
  • Quinoa Apple Cranberry
  • Caesar
  • Strawberry Spinach
  • Chicken
  • Wild Weeds

The Dressings:
  • Rosemary Balsamic Garlic
  • Caesar
  • Strawberry Poppy Seed Yogurt
  • Roasted Red Pepper
  • Green Goddess

Class is $25
RSVP by Monday March 14th to Kristi at 209-712-2424 or email me at


  1. crunch crunch yum yum! love arugula! and miners lettuce and chickweed.... :o)

  2. Can I take the class via Skype?!

  3. Just went outside and grazed on some chickweed! LOL

    Melissa I don't see why not! Let's try it! I can set up my laptop somewhere on the counter. I have video on my laptop. Wanna try?

  4. Yes! I have video on my laptop as well. Is this a demo only class or will I need to have ingredients on hand?