We’re nearly self sufficient in salad leaves here now, but only by eating a LOT of pea shoots. |The other leaves, like mizuma, mustard greens, baby pak choi, rocket, chard, just provide a bit of colour and interest. Does anyone have any fast salad inspiration?
Ha, ha, we eat LOADS of pea shoots, too. Have you tried fava shoots? They are just as fast and productive and make a nice change (although you don’t want too many).
Sorrel can be very productive - a bucket full can give you a lot of leaves. It is strongly flavoured so you don’t want too much.
I have a couple of big pots of mint - and I often add handfuls to salads (goes well with pea shoots).
The other microgreens that are very fast and productive are sunflower shoots (delicious but need to be eaten quickly before they get their second pair of leaves) and radish, perhaps the fastest and most productive of all.
Hope this gives you a few ideas.
Thanks! ooh, I might try some mint while it’s still going. I tried growing red veined sorrel but took it out after it took over, it’s EVERYWHERE now, and the guinea pigs can’t eat it so trying frantically to keep it out of the lawn… Thanks, I might give those a go. Are all radish leaves edible? I have some black radishes close to harvest.
In theory, yes - but they can get tough and bitter. I only eat the microgreen radish leaves in salads - and stir fry larger leaves with olive oil and lemon.
Lots of people have the same experience with red veined sorrel - it grows like a weed, and tastes awful. French sorrel is far superior, and buckler leaf sorrel has very pretty leaves that look great in salads.
Good old parsley is very productive in a small space too. Curly leaved tends to give more weight per square inch than flat leaved and is less likely to go a bit manky in the winter. I don’t see purslane in your list, or corn salad, which tends to fill in later in the winter when some of the others are past their best. Ragged Jack is the most productive of the kales for baby leaves in our experience. Of course all of these also come under the invasive weed heading. And talking of invasive weeds, it’s always worth looking out for bittercress and chickweed anywhere there’s the smallest crack in the concrete. Both really good in salads. And if you are sprouting then alfalfa is very fast. We were in Kashmir at the end of winter a few years ago and everyone seemed to have pots of fenugreek on the window sill
I LOVE marrowfat shoots, they are just so pretty and delicious. My spinach seems to grow pretty fast now it is established, although its hard to get their before our pesky snails - who I need an army against.
@Sara I use marrowfat peas from the supermarket for my pea shoots, about 3/4 of a 50p box has yielded nearly 300g of salad so far. Loads of things to look at for my next seed order, thanks! I do use herbs in my salad - I have an amazing lettuce leaf basil, plus mint, and parsley at the moment, but we have to share them with the guinea pigs and other meals.
Here’s today’s home grown salad. I do love the mixture of tastes you get when you add a bit of this and a leaf of that.