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Of course any lettuce plant will reach a point where its leaves taste very bitter and by mid August much of the lettuce for his salads comes from the local supermarket - but he still gets dozens of other ingredients from the garden. Here are some of those other greens in Grandpa Green s garden that find their way into his delicious salads. Radicchio provides a nice burgundy red color. Be careful to use sparingly in a salad as radicchio is naturally bitter and remove the thick white stem part of each leaf. Arugula is very easy to grow from seed and you can start by harvesting the extra seedlings for salad while thinning out the seedlings. Pick individual leaves as the plants grow and you can get two or three months worth of arugula flavor from each plant. I find arugula one of the most interesting flavors in a salad.
There s an old half whiskey barrel on the cottage deck that grows pansies and a few of the pansy blossoms sometimes find their way into a salad (they are edible as are violet blossoms if you don t mind picking them out of your lawn). Lemon balm is another interesting perennial with a citrus flavor that makes it easy to identify when playing the salad guessing game. Tarragon is another anise-flavored herb but I m not a big fan - for some reason I find tarragon numbs my mouth. But I ve been overruled on that account and there s always a little tarragon in our cottage salads. Kale grows well in northern gardens and we sometimes harvest mature kale in the dead of winter. When the plants are young in August and September the smaller leaves go well in a salad but because they are rough they do need to be torn into small pieces.
You can even try this at home with a store-bought brand. The next time you go to make a salad stop and taste the dressing. Is it bland? Could it use some seasoning? If so take a little bit in a bowl and season it with a little salt pepper and lemon juice. Toss the salad and taste - you ll notice the difference right away. Now if seasoning salad dressing is weird to you just wait - it gets weirder. 3 - Restaurants Season Their Salad Greens The third restaurant salad secret is that some restaurants will actually season their salad greens. Yes you read this correctly. The seasoning of salad greens is not a widely used technique but it is used at high-end restaurants to bring out the flavor of the greens themselves.