This is new territory for me. I can’t say I’ve ever had a salad of mache, blanched dandelions, baby red Russian kale, baby arugula – with a splash of mustard greens and mizuna. My previous assumption was that spinach was the first greens of the year. This year, the transplants for the cold frames won the race by a mile. The direct sown, unprotected spinach is barely reaching first-pair-of-true-leaf-stage.
Mache will be a new regular in our garden. It’s the leafy green thing on the top right of the top left photo, also seen in my hand below for scale. I like zippy greens, but I also like a canvas for them to pop from. Mache is akin to spinach in its tenderness and mildness of flavor – with perhaps a little more textural interest. It’s also ridiculously cold hard apparently. I’m on a mission to harvest mache come December. Yep. You read that right.
These greens have also left me with a lingering thought about future seasons of gardening: we love kale. Red Russian kale, in particular. Because we love it cooked so much – a fantastic stand in for asian greens in stir fries, and good cooked a variety of other ways – I’m having a hard time imagining having too much of it in April/May, when we’re desperate for green in the diet. I can tire of arugula, but not so with kale. Next late/winter: more spring kale.