Winter greens

Last night I made our first salad of the winter with some beautiful red leaf lettuce from our low tunnel.  We thought the low tunnel would provide spinach throughout the winter and expected the lettuce to bite the dust during the single digit temps in early December.

As it turns out, the spinach harvest has been pretty minimal (Matthew transplanted the spinach to the tunnel from its previous location in the garden, which may explain its lack of enthusiasm), and the lettuce, which is much less cold-tolerant than spinach, somehow survived.  While the low tunnel keeps things warm enough to prevent freezing, it’s still pretty chilly in there, which means that spinach, lettuce, or anything else, will grow veerrrryyy sllloooowwwlllyy.

Matthew harvested just enough lettuce leaves for a nice salad for two.  I dressed it up with some chopped cauliflower, red onion, toasted sunflower seeds, and this homemade dressing, which features nutritional yeast, and savored every bite of homegrown lettuce in the middle of January.

Tending my pot

Volunteer amaranth took over this pot of celery.


In a relatively short amount of time, I set things straight in the celery pot.  Fortunately, amaranth leaves are edible.  At this young, tender stage, you can eat them raw.  Later, you can cook them like spinach.  If the plants mature, they produce seeds (i.e., amaranth grain) with high nutritional value.


The amaranth leaves add amazing color to this salad (and match the color of the shamrock leaves).  Their flavor is very mild; I added dill and arugula to punch up the flavor, plus sunflower seeds for crunch (and protein).  Served with a side of sugar snap peas.  Dressed with a mixture of seasoned rice vinegar, cider vinegar, olive oil, crushed garlic, and a dash of sesame oil.  (Sorry, I don’t measure on the dressings — drives DH crazy!)