Trending
MOST READ
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Day Trips: 10 ways to have fun outside near San Antonio

Day Trips: 10 ways to have fun outside near San Antonio

Outdoor Issue 2014: Who wouldn’t love to take a long trip to the Rocky Mountains or the Adirondacks, but let’s get real: not all of us have time (or the... By Mark Reagan 9/24/2014
Best Korean Restaurant

Best Korean Restaurant

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Best Vietnamese Restaurant

Best Vietnamese Restaurant

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Food & Drink

Urban Homestead: Salad Greens

Photo: , License: N/A


One advantage to growing your food is that you can see and experiment with the whole process. Case in point: salad greens. Most of us grew up with a base of Iceberg lettuce, maybe with shredded carrot and purple cabbage for color; the mix is still the standard at diners, chain restaurants, salad bars, and even the pre-packaged, fake-fresh “bags-o-salad” available at most grocery stores. Which is why many people consider salads a boring side dish they subject themselves to because it’s “healthy.” But the whole concept of salad should revolve around freshness, color, and a variety of textures, flavors, and juxtapositions. When you have enough pots or patches of young, tender leafy things growing in the back yard, salads can be a refreshing, healthy, and beautiful improvisation.

Starting your own spring mix or mesclun blend is easy, thanks to seed packages geared toward adding variety, color, and texture to your garden as much as your salad bowl. Mixed red, green, and variegated lettuces are easy to start in pots or directly in the ground, along with tender spinach, chard, young beet greens (purples, actually) and the wide world of chicories: radicchio, frisée, curly endive (escarole), and other varieties.

Radicchio needs a winter frost for the classic purple and white heads, but tender spring-sown greens add sturdy texture and a slightly bitter, peppery bite to salads. The larger, deep green leaves are excellent chopped into creamy risottos, or blanched and wrapped around meat or rice fillings, and simmered in a tomato sauce.

Arugula grows year-round for a sweet, peppery kick: plant liberally and often in different areas of the yard, and let a few plants go to seed. If you can keep the birds from stripping off all the seedpods, you’ll have enough for the rest of the year.

For substance, add garden fresh cucumbers, sweet peppers, and baby radishes, or fresh herbs like parsley, basil, dill, and marjoram, all of which take to the San Antonio climate fairly well. For the ultimate spring flourish, add bright nasturtium blossoms or other edible flowers like pansies, violas, or oxalis blooms. If you haven’t planted them, don’t worry, they’re fairly easy to come by in the supermarket, look for the fresh herbs in the produce section and your floral salad friends shouldn’t be too far away.

Recently in Food & Drink
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus