May 13, 2009 Subject:
For the curious and adventurous
In Little Women, after an unsuccessful because unattended luncheon party leaves the Marches with a surfeit of uneaten salad, Mr. March provokes a burst of hysterical laughter by mentioning this book. Once you get past the old fashioned lettering, you find that in the 1600s many more plants were considered good for salad than you’ll find in your average grocery. Evelyn analyzes salad vegetables according to the medical theory of the day. He gives a number of recipes for eating, pickling, a dressing which sounds much like Remoulade and cowslip wine and a table of when to harvest various plants.
If you’re tired of insipid iceberg, pick out something that Evelyn lists and then search for a site that sells the seeds; buy a packet and plant them either indoors or outdoors. You may find a new favorite vegetable.