These days any morning I wake to birdsong and sunlight slanting through the treeline east of my house, I wake up happy. But this morning I awoke especially excited, because today was our first harvest day for our CSA customers! This week’s share includes mixed salad greens, spinach, and radishes.
If the word “salad” brings to your mind bowls full of iceberg, romaine, or green leaf lettuce, you might not recognize some of the plants in this week’s mix. For me, these flavorful greens mark the beginning of the fresh eating season. In normal years, I usually begin harvesting them in late April. They germinate and grow quickly even in cold soil, making them ideal first spring crops.
The greens in our salad mix come from an organic seed blend from Johnny’s Selected Seeds called “Ovation Greens.” It contains Tatsoi, Red Mustard, Mizuna, Arugula, and Red Russian Kale. Each of these plants has a distinctly different flavor and texture.
Red Russian Kale is mild as well, but unlike the smooth, crisp Tatsoi, its leaves are ruffled around the edges, adding interesting texture to a forkful of salad. Its purple stems add a nice touch of color as well.
We’ve included several different varieties of lettuce in our mix this week as well and I’ll write more about them in a future post. For now, let me leave you with my favorite spring salad recipe:
Top a bowl of freshly picked salad greens with thinly sliced radishes, toasted walnuts, dried cherries, and a tart, crumbly cheese such as feta or Gorgonzola. Sprinkle with olive oil and white wine or balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!