Wild Spring Herb and Flower Salad
The combination of greens and herbs in this recipe can guide you in experimenting with mesclun. The first five ingredients are very mild and buffer the strong radish flavor of arugula, the bitter draw of dandelion, and the almost-sweet tang of dill and lemon balm. If you choose to forage in the wild for the ingredients in this recipe, remember: Don’t eat flowers or wild herbs unless you’re sure they aren’t poisonous. Many flowers are unsafe to eat and many poisonous plants are easily mistaken for wild herbs. More and more, supermarket produce sections are providing organically grown varieties of these greens and herbs, so shop around if you’re uncomfortable foraging for your salad.
• 1/2 head romaine lettuce, washed, patted dry, and torn into bite-sized pieces
• 1/2 head red leaf lettuce, washed, patted dry, and torn into bite-sized pieces
• 1/4 cup sweet violet flowers (Viola spp., the common wild perennial)
• 1/3 cup unsprayed sweet violet leaves, stems removed
• 12 small young yarrow leaves
• 1/4 cup arugula flowers or 8 arugula leaves
• 1/4 cup organic dandelion leaves, picked before flowering
• 12 tips each of two mild herbs, such as dill and lemon balm
• 3 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil
• 1 1/2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
• Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. In a large bowl, toss all the greens and herbs with the olive oil. Drizzle the rice wine vinegar over the greens and serve with salt and pepper on the side.
Debbie Whittaker demonstrates her healthy cooking style as the “Herb Gourmet” in Denver, Colorado.
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