Who doesn’t love a salad full to the brim with baby spinach leaves… maybe my toddler, oh and spinach is probably the only thing my beagle wont eat too.. but I love a salad with baby spinach. It has been one thing that I have found extremely difficult to grow in our subtropical environment. Leafy greens is the big thing that I cannot bring myself to buy at the shops.
Whilst baby spinach will grow OK over winter months for me, it’s not a prolific cropper. It’s certainly not going to fill a salad unless you plant an entire bed of the stuff, and who has space for that. So what’s the alternatives to filling a salad full of yummy greens that isn’t lettuce.
Also known as New Zealand spinach, it’s a native plant that can often be found on the coast line. It is prolific, hardy plant that does exceptionally well in a neglected garden. However, when cooked it goes slimy and it has an extremely high oxalate content so unless you want to bring on some kidney stones, then you probably want to make sure it’s blanched before you eat it, so it’s going to be fine for your quiches and spinach and feta parcels.
Also known as Sissoo spinach, this one has been a winner for me, extremely similar to the Warrigal greens without the high oxalate and it keeps it’s crunchy texture. Super easy to propagate, and loves it in the aquaponics, so if growing in the ground make sure you keep the water up to it. Grab some from my shop here.
Red Veined Sorrel
Sorrel is a great perennial plant to have in your garden for ongoing leafy green harvests. We have the red veined sorrel growing in our aquaponics and it has been a great source of adding a little bit of colour to an otherwise boring salad. It is a little bitter, so if you make sure you’re adding the young leaves to salads and keep the older bigger ones for cooking. Again it is one of those who has a high oxalate content so use it sparingly raw.
I posted a little while back on my instagram asking for recommendations on what I could do with Kale. It always seems to grow super well in our garden yet I never get around to using it. I am not a green juice or smoothie person, and blanched kale is a bit blah… but I had some great recommendations on just adding it to salads! It now goes in everything, finely shredded. I especially love it in coleslaw to give a bit of extra green.