Mache, also known as corn salad, rapunzel, field salad, or lamb’s lettuce is a little known salad green with a mild lettuce like flavor.
This easily to cultivated vegetable can even be found growing wild in some areas.
Mache Greens for Fresh Winter Salads
Mache’s claim to fame is its cold hardiness and ability to survive and continue growing under very cold weather conditions.
This is a great edible plant to grow for harvesting leafy greens during the late fall and early spring periods when fresh produce is not readily available from the garden. Mache can be found flourishing long before most other leafy greens have established new growth at the start of spring.
Planting and Growing Mache
The large, round seeds are planted up until the middle of fall for late harvests, and the plants will also over winter in the open garden with no protection. Plant mache seeds in rows or scatter them thickly over a raised bed and cover with half an inch of compost or garden soil.
As they mature, mache plants will form a rosette of medium to dark green leaves that are elongated or slightly cup shaped. Thin the plants as required to provide room for them to reach full size and transplant or eat the thinned mache leaves.
Mache Varieties and Kitchen Uses
The simplest way to prepare mache is to use it as a salad ingredient without cooking. The flavor of the delicate leaves is very mild, almost to the point of being bland.
Cultivated mache varieties include: Verte de Cambrai, Medallion, Large Seeded Dutch, and Bistro.
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