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The First Spring Salad

March 19th, 2011

On Thursday, when I was working outside, I harvested the first of the spinach that I overwintered in my hoop houses. It’s coming to life quite nicely this spring.

The leaves on the ‘Giant Winter’ that survived were huge. The leaves on the ‘Catalina’ were smaller, but there were more of them and the plants dealt with the cold best of the 2 varieties I planted.

I also harvested some dandelion and bitter cress greens to mix in with the spinach. We topped these lovely greens with: pastured smoked bacon, organic pastured eggs, caramelized organic onions, local organic raw milk blue cheese, and a maple vinaigrette made with some of our very own maple syrup.

It made for the perfect dinner, quick to make and delicious to eat! I’m looking forward to salad season, there’s definitely something cleansing about eating salads in the spring. It seems our bodies crave the greens and all the vitamins they provide after the long winter.

What’s your favorite salad green? Are you harvesting any from your garden yet?

18 Comments to “The First Spring Salad”
  1. Quinn on March 19, 2011 at 7:05 am

    What a beautiful salad! And it sounds delicious too. I planted spinach too late, only one little plant lived and I didn’t bother with any winter protection. Amazingly it survived and I sampled a sweet and tender leaf yesterday. It was enough to inspire a better attempt at it this year.

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  2. nic@nipitinthebud on March 19, 2011 at 7:38 am

    my mouth’s watering just at the sound of your maple dressing!
    I love growing rocket and snack on it frequently when I’m down at the allotment. In fact I rarely end up picking it for my plate at home because I’ve eat so much when I’m there!

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  3. Rene' Sharp on March 19, 2011 at 7:42 am

    Oh my word, that looks just delicious!!! I am hoping to plant some spinach in my garden soon!

    Reply to Rene’ Sharp's comment

  4. Jessica on March 19, 2011 at 8:01 am

    Just planted arugula, spinach, and Rouge d’Hiver lettuce in the garden two days ago. Arugula is by far my favorite.

    Reply to Jessica's comment

    • Susy on March 19, 2011 at 9:47 am

      MMMM, I love arugula on BLT’s – so good!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. Melisa on March 19, 2011 at 8:19 am

    Looks delicious, I took a 6 green salad to a dinner at some friends last nite. It was wonderful- 3 types of lettuce, swiss chard, kale, and spinach! So happy that spring is here!

    Reply to Melisa's comment

  6. kristin @ going country on March 19, 2011 at 8:42 am

    I have some hopes that the chard didn’t die completely and may revive shortly. In the meantime, I planted lettuce seeds yesterday, though it may be awhile before those get warm enough weather to do anything.

    There is no way I could get away with serving just a salad for dinner, no matter how many yummy things were in it. It’s tiring having such a meat-and-potatoes husband sometimes . . .

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  7. Jennelle on March 19, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Wow, I am super hungry right now, or your salad looks EXCEPTIONALLY delicious… probably both! Yum!

    Reply to Jennelle's comment

  8. Kaytee on March 19, 2011 at 10:01 am

    I’m a big fan of spinach. Which is funny, because up until really last year, I hardly touched the stuff!

    No greens from out garden yet. I didn’t have the proper structure to overwinter the spinach I planted in the fall, but I think I might us your idea/plan to build one for this winter. Your spinach looks so good!

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  9. Daedre Craig on March 19, 2011 at 10:02 am

    My favorite salad green is probably arugula. It self-sows so rampantly in my garden that I rarely have to plant any of it!

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  10. Lee on March 19, 2011 at 11:03 am

    I’m in zone 8 so we’re in the thick of salad season. Love it! This is the first year that I’ve eaten chard raw in salads. I don’t think I’ll ever cook it again. So beautiful and delicious! I have some local olive oil and blackberry vinaigrette which makes wonderful dressing.

    Reply to Lee's comment

  11. Michelle on March 19, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    This looks so incredibly delicious!

    Reply to Michelle's comment

  12. KimP on March 19, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    I successfully overwintered some lettuce in an unheated greenhouse and have been eating from it for over a month! I’ll definitely do that again this fall. :-)

    Reply to KimP's comment

  13. Estelle on March 19, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    I totally look forward to my first lettuces! I planted some Black Seeded Simpson and just bought a packet of heirloom lettuce and another of Sea of Red, both from Renee’s Gatden. Oh and also started some arugula, as it is fast and easy to grow. Hopefully I will try overwintering spinach like you this year.

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  14. MAYBELLINE on March 19, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    My salad bowl is full except for summer. It’s too danged hot. Your salad looks great.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

  15. Marie on March 20, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Is it too early to plant spinach outside in NE Ohio? It would be without protection, too (no hoop house, row covers). What about with protection? I’ve thought about buying row covers. Thing is, I can’t take them off/put them on during the day if it gets to warm since my garden is at a community garden and there is no way I could get there and do that before work…

    Reply to Marie's comment

    • Susy on March 20, 2011 at 4:01 pm

      No, I think it’s warm enough to plant it outside now. I have lettuce that’s uncovered that’s doing fine.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  16. Sincerely, Emily on March 20, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Your salad looks great! Your dressing sounds wonderful. What a great way to use your maple syrup too! Our lettuce & spinach season are rapidly coming to an end. Half of the lettuce has bolted and the other half is just about to start. The spinach is headed that direction also. Way too hot here already (So TX). SO SAD! The chard is doing alright at the moment and I am crossing my fingers it will last a bit longer. My fav salad is a mix of lettuce, chard, red Russian kale and spinach with homemade crouton and a homemade vinegar/oil/mustard dressing. Emily

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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