Is there really anything better than a homegrown garden salad? I’m going to say probably not. I mean the tomatoes alone are something to behold. There’s just nothing quite like it.
Although, the typical salad seems to only consists of iceberg along with some non-vegetable additions such as cheese and croutons, it really can be much more than that. A salad is a cold dish of various mixtures of raw or cooked vegetables, usually seasoned with oil, vinegar, or other dressing and sometimes accompanied by meat, fish, or other ingredients. With a definition like that, a salad can be anything that you want! But for the sake of this post, we’re going to talk about a winter garden salad.
Growing your Greens
Kale, collards, romaine lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, leeks and parsnips are hardy vegetables that grow great in the winter.
If stored properly, carrots, onions, turnips and winter squash could be prepared and used throughout the winter in various types of salads.
Growing Salad Greens
There are four types of lettuces: looseleaf, butterhead, romaine and crisphead, also known as Iceberg.
Not only are looseleaf types easier to grow and manage, but also you can cut them down and they keep growing back. They resist bolting longer than others. Once the seeds set, the leaves become tough and bitter. are the easiest to grow and tend to resist bolting, or setting seeds, longer than the others.
You can plant lettuce in the cool temperatures of spring and fall. Sow the seeds indoors or directly in loose garden soil, 1/4-inch deep. The plants can take full sun to part shade.
For a bolder flavor try arugala, which is a leafy, peppery-tasting green. It along with kale are both cool weather crops, perfect for a winter garden salad. You can trim the leaves and they’ll continue growing back, too.
Bok Choy is in the cabbage family but is a nice garden salad addition. Just like all the others, bok choy is a cool weather crop. It takes full sun to part shade and needs well-drained, fertile soil that’s enriched with plenty of organic matter with out 10-12 inches per plant.
And last but not least, spinach is a great cool weather vegetable to add to garden salads because it has a lot of vitamins and minerals. Plant the seeds 1/2-inch deep and 2 inches apart in spring, in loose, deep soil, or sow later in the summer for a fall crop. As with lettuce, sow more seeds every couple of weeks, and toss thinned seedlings into salads.
You can also add herbs or edible flowers like nasturtiums, pansies or squash blossoms, as long as they have never been treated with chemicals.
Another yummy addition you might try are microgreens. Sunflower microgreens add a deliciously nutty with the flavor of raw sunflower seeds but the texture of spinach. They are easy to grow in just about any container you can find around the house, such as clear plastic salad-mix boxes.
Other popular microgreens are Watercress, Chia, Basil, Kale, Radish, Dill, Orach, Cilantro, Beets and Carrots. Microgreens are great because they’re packed full of nutrients and they’re also easy to grow in a small indoor space.
Garden Salad with Gluten Free Salad Dressing
- Lettuce and greens
- 2 carrots
- 2 radishes
- 2 parts olive oil
- 1 parts vinegar or lemon juices
- Prep veggies
- Arrange salad
- Add dressing
- Add herbs
So there you have a recipe for the perfect winter garden salad! Comment below with your favorite salad components or recipe!