Big Grow how to grow and use no.6: Salads
Salads are fantastic because you can grow enough baby salad leaves in pots on a small windowsill all year around for putting in sandwiches and even for full salad meals (that may need a bigger windowsill if you've got a large household). Winter salads are usually spicier and more interesting than summer salads- but then, there are lots of other plants growing in summer too to add interest to meals.
How to Grow and Use SALADS
Grow and pick SALADS
Salads don’t need a big pot to grow– any old food container will work fine.
Make holes in the bottom of the container to let water drain through, then stand the container on a lid or plate to avoid mess.
Water well when the compost is starting to dry out, so water runs through, then pour away any water that the container is standing in, so that the plants’ roots don’t rot.
The salad plants will grow new leaves from near the bottom, always from the middle of the plant.
Pick leaves at any size– smaller leaves are sweeter, bigger leaves have more flavour.
You can cut the whole plant above its growing point with scissors or pick one leaf at a time.
More leaves will grow for months as long as you don’t cut through the growing point– then the plant will try to go to seed and “bolt” - it will flower and if you want you can wait to save seeds.
Simple green salad
Wash your cut salad in clean water– rinse a few times if there are insects on the salad to make sure you’ve got them all off.
Shake the leaves well to remove the water.
If you like, dry the leaves by shaking in a clean, dry tea towel.
Eat your salad on its own, in a sandwich, with any pasta, rice or couscous dish, with a ready made dressing, or, to get you started…
1. 2 tbsp vegetable oil
2. 1 tbsp vinegar (wine, cider or balsamic) or lemon juice
3. A little salt and pepper
Mix all the ingredients together and pour on salad!
Once your salad starts getting older, the leaves will get tougher and may taste bitter.
They’re still useful though!
Old salad leaves are great for adding flavour and texture to stir fries, soup, pasta dishes, curries and lots more.
We love soup made with noodles, soy sauce, onions, carrots or sweetcorn and overgrown salad leaves and lots of water– with spices and miso too if we have it in.
Old salad leaves can be frozen then put straight into any food you’re cooking, like frozen spinach.