Backyard Garden: Salad Bowl


This is the third round of leaf lettuce I've harvested from the garden.  I planted a variety: prizeleaf, royal oak leaf, salad bowl, ashley and black seeded simpson.  All from Burpee.  Every type has done very well.  Lettuce is an early crop for us.  It doesn't fair well in the Texas heat, and I'll miss it in the summer months. 

I spaced out the plantings to optimize the harvest.  I planted three squares of lettuce the last weekend in March and planted two more squares a couple of weeks later.  Now that I've gotten all that I can get from the first planting, the second planting is ready to be harvested.  This method ensures that I have lettuce longer. 

In order for your lettuce to grow back when it comes time to harvest, cut all the leaves around the outside of the plant and leave the center stalk.  I use a pair of scissors to do the cutting.  The leaves will grow back 2-4 more times.


While I do eat a lot of salads there are other ways to use these greens. 
  • Make a frittata with greens on top covered in vinaigrette dressing.  Barbara Kingsolver has a great recipe from her book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
  • Add it to a pimento cheese sandwich made with homemade bread.  I did this for my mom and she loved it.
  • Add it to omelets like you would spinach.
Of course if you do love a good salad there is nothing like adding homemade dressing to give it a little zest without weighing it down with oily, processed dressings. 

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Homemade Vinaigrette
1 TBS Olive Oil
1 TBS Balsamic Vinegar
Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
It's important to use the best possible, quality ingredients.  Cheap olive oil will not taste good on your home grown lettuce.  Put all the ingredients in a small jelly jar, and shake.

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My first planting of carrots will soon be ready to harvest as well. I'm looking forward to that.

What is coming out of your garden?