Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Friday, 19 October 2012

Tried and Trusted: Other Leaves

I now have some bigger pots available after my autumnal clearing, so  these pots of Mizuna will be potted on to give them more room. As my plants are quite small, I probably won't be picking many leaves until around February next year

When I asked you for your favourite lettuce varieties recently, there were spontaneous recommendations for a host of other leaves and herbs. Today's post bundles them up to form a companion to August's Tried and Trusted: Lettuce :)

Top Bloggers and Tweeters recommend:
  • Agastache - 'Tasted an agastache leaf today. BLOODY HELL! Why'd no one tell me they're so utterly delicious?'
  • Basil - 'amazing flavour'. 'Wow, what's the herb in our salad tonight?' - said NAH after I'd scattered the smaller leaved Greek basil over our summer salads 
  • Beetroot leaves - 'earthy'
  • Bulb fennel - thinnings, fronds and bulb all add a great aniseed flavour to salads
  • Chervil - 'virtually indestructible' 
  • Lamb's lettuce (added by me in 2013, as it's doing so well outside)
  • Land Cress - 'I over winter land cress in my greenhouse, does well and spices up a winter salad'. NB @mandahill warns germination and growth rates for the variegated variety for her in Canada aren't as good as the more usual variety grown
  • Mint - so popular it deserved a recipe post all to itself
  • Mizuna - 'looks really good and can pick by the leaf'
  • Mustard - 'Green in Snow', 'Green Streaks' and 'Red Giant' all get a mention. 'Green in Snow' is particularly valued for withstanding colder weather and for the possibility of late sowings made in October
  • Nasturtiums - 'just discovered the joy of Nasturtium leaves, only ate the flowers until now. Can't think why'. So versatile as its leaves, flowers and seeds can be used in salad. Good watercress-like flavour
  • Pea shoots - a good emergency gap over the winter/spring if other crops fail. We've had lots of Salad Challenge posts about this one :)
  • Rocket - 'because it never dies'. I go for wild rocket over the salad variety for its stronger taste and ability to withstand foul weather
  • Add your own favourite to the list by commenting below :)
Update: regular Salad Days contributor Liz says: 'Parsley! Parsley! Parsley! Well OK so I'm a little obsessed with it but I think its probably my favourite herb and so really needs to be on the list'

Update 2: I'm adding the following from my interview with Charles Dowding

  • Kale - stands well outdoors
  • Chicory/Raddichio for a contrasting bitterness
  • Pak Choi
Many thanks to the following contributors (covering growing in Australia, Canada and the UK):

9 comments:

  1. What a lovely list. Worth trying quite a lot of them. Winter without salad is really not nice.

    /Birgitte - who is about to order salad seeds

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  2. Thanks for publishing the list. Always loved Basil myself :)

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  3. Birgitte - welcome! We'll be managing winter with salad thanks to this challenge. It's been a lot of fun to do - fancy joining us?

    James - Basil is good. BTW your comment stays because it's relevant and is appreciated. If you're using comments to link build your commercial site, this isn't the way to do it.

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  4. Parsley! Parsley! Parsley! Well OK so I'm a ittle obsessed with it but I think its probably my favourite herb and so really needs to be on the list.

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  5. Oh I will have to give these a try....

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  6. Liz - ok it's added :)

    Donna - hope to hear how you're getting on in a future Salad Days BTW rocket = arugula on your side of the pond.

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  7. Hi

    I also vote for rocket which I know as arugula. It has a wonderful flavor and lasted all winter in a cold frame. I think I will also try some mizuna.

    Thanks for the great post!

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  8. Sandie Anne - hello :) If it's lasted in a cold frame then I suspect you're growing the wild form of arugula. It's a lot tougher (and tastier in my view) than the salad form.

    That's tough as in withstanding the cold, rather than tough to eat!

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  9. I've added Lamb's lettuce because it's outside and has stood up to January's cold weather so well

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