Monday, February 18, 2008

winter food: lambs lettuce

Lamb's lettuce (Valerianella locusta) has self seeded all over one of my veggie garden plots. It has been growing all winter, and it has been used on many of our sandwiches for lunch. I've left it there, for not many things grow all winter long, so fresh and tasty.
This is the leafy green that Rapunzel's mother was craving in the faerie tales. She was pregnant at the time, and begged her husband to steal it from the witch's garden. I don't blame her, it does have a lovely taste. But her husband was caught and the witch demanded their first born child in exchange for the lamb's lettuce. He agreed. Crazy man! I don't think I would got to that length to acquire this green! Luckily, it grows easily in my garden, so no need to give up my first born.


Blogger Frances said...

Thanks for the reminder of the rapunzel story, most think only of the long hair! Do you know the botanical name of this, it looks similar to a 'weed' here, I would love to find out it is edible and the stuff of classic tales as well.

Frances at Faire Garden

February 18, 2008 7:25 pm  
Blogger Salix Tree said...

Frances, I've edited in the latin name in the post now. "Valerianella locusta"

February 18, 2008 9:25 pm  
Blogger d. chedwick bryant said...

In my fairy tale book it is called Rampion. I always wondered what that was-- I wonder does it taste like cress?

February 19, 2008 3:46 am  
Blogger Salix Tree said...

Chedwick, yes, that's also a version of the tale. Rampion is a variety of campanula, and its root is said to be extremely tasty as well.
My lambs lettuce doesn't taste like cress, more like a butter lettuce but with a slightly stronger taste.

February 19, 2008 7:33 am  
Blogger Nicole said...

I also love lamb's lettuce-though here in the tropics I can only manage to grow baby rosettes in the shade. Yes, lucky for your fist born LOL

February 20, 2008 11:55 am  

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