Spring Salad

On my way home last night I checked on our Family of 4 Garden and decided that it was about time to start harvesting a little bit. I went through and pulled a few radishes and picked some of the larger spinach, lettuce, and mesclun leaves. (I also picked a few pea tendrils as garnish from another bed.)

The radishes and greens are spread out on a cookie sheet. Look at all that dirt!

The radishes and greens are spread out on a cookie sheet. Look at all that dirt!

The leaves were pretty dirty, primarily from all the rain we’ve been having splashing soil up onto the plants. The radishes, well…obviously they were growing underground, so the dirt is expected. I decided to tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces before washing, because I thought that would help get them clean. One of the worst parts of home-grown salad is eating gritty sand!

The shredded salad is in the salad spinner basket and ready for a wash-spin cycle.

The shredded salad is in the salad spinner basket and ready for a wash-spin cycle.

I was actually surprised by how easily the leaves came clean after running under cold water, tossing, then spinning dry. I actually repeated the washing and spinning twice to make sure they were clean.

The radishes are medium-sized, but ready to start eating!

The radishes are medium-sized, but ready to start eating!

The radishes are beautiful. I am a big fan of the different colors. These radishes were very tasty, although not hot and spicy. They had a better flavor that you’d get from the grocery store, but I think the weather has been too mild for them to develop much heat. (My husband is a fan of the mild flavor, but I like the hotness!)

The salads were bright, colorful, and delicious!

The salads were bright, colorful, and delicious!

I weighed the greens before washing, and they weighed in at 3 5/8 ounces. The pea tendrils were an additional 3/8 ounce, so the total greens were 4 ounces. The radishes were about 1/2 a bunch like you would get from the grocery store.

Our cost analysis:

5 oz. tub of organic spring salad mix from the grocery store = $3.19 ($3 on sale)

1 bunch of organic radishes from the grocery store = $1.50? (I don’t know this price off the top of my head. I’ll check and update this later.)

So we had 3 5/8 oz of organic spring salad mix, which would be about $2.30. The half bunch of radishes is $0.75. So we aren’t racking up the dollars quickly, but the freshness is worth it!

We topped the salads off with some pinenuts, dried cranberries, and blue cheese dressing.

We topped the salads off with some pinenuts, dried cranberries, and blue cheese dressing.

We had enough salad for two medium-sized side salads. If needed, it could have been divided into 4 small side salads for a family of 4.

At this point our grocery savings has covered about 1/3 to 1/2 of our seed cost. However, we’ve got a lot more salad coming in the near future!

About Rebecca

I'm a Horticulture Educator with Sedgwick County Extension, a branch of K-State Research and Extension, located in Wichita, KS. I teach about fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Posted on April 30, 2009, in Family of 4 Garden, Harvesting & Eating and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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