It’s not yet time for fat heads of lettuce, but now is the moment to establish salad crops
Spring may be marching forth, but an abundance of greens is still a way off, so here we are in the hungry gap. It is not yet time for fat heads of lettuce, but the tender beginnings of so many other things that are appearing in the garden.
No one wrote better about spring salads than the 16th- and 17th-century humanist Giacomo Castelvetro, who was exiled to our shores and so horrified by our diet that he wrote a treatise on how to eat more salads. It’s a short masterclass on good food writing. He suggests one takes “the young leaves of mint, nasturtium, basil, salad burnet, tarragon, the flowers of herba stella [buck’s horn plantain] and tenderest leaves of borage… the newborn shoots of fennel, the leaves of rocket, of sorrel, of lemon balm, rosemary flowers, some sweet violets and the tenderest leaves of the hearts of lettuce.”