Friday, March 13, 2009

Spring's First Lettuce - Salad Ideas

At the producer's market, I happened across some particularly gorgeous lettuce
and learned from the lady who grew how they differentiate themselves from the other producers - they don't use greenhouses. This must mean Spring is really on the way.

She said that although you see lettuces coming from various producers throughout even a harsh winter, hers have grown naturally in the air... They are really Spring's first lettuces. Walking into the greenhouse at the farm I visited in Switzerland warmed my bones enough to make me want to work on the farm, just to get warm. It was still very cold in Switzerland. The lettuce in that lovely greenhouse was fat and happy, that's for sure. Mr. Delessert pulled the tarp that was over the door aside and my first impression of being invited into a Hammam. I imagined reclining on a lettuce bed and getting a massage and a scrubdown. Really, I don't think a greenhouse would affect the taste of the lettuce, though. It really all depends on the plant that's grown and the soil. But the lady had a nice sales pitch!

I brought this Spring's first lettuce home and we enjoyed a lovely salad, not a hint of bitter in this lacy salad. What salad to prepare with your season's first lettuce?

Why not get inspired to try these salads as the seasons unfold? Ideas abound:
A Home Made Salade Lyonnaise - make it like you like it. (pictured at the bottom of the post)
A Southwestern Salad: Salade Landaise
Get Inspired by French Café Salads
Fondue de Saint Marcellin Parmentière et Salade
Spicy Poultry Stuffed Pattypan Squash in Salad
The Rabbit Saddle Salad at Pignol Bellecour
Salade de Chèvre Chaud avec sa Vinaigrette au Poivre Vert



Blogger Martha said...

There is something about those first lettuces of spring. I sow lettuce seeds in my barren flower pots -- it is so nice to pick fresh lettuce for a meal and it is nice to see green in the pots before you can plant annuals.

11:12 AM, March 13, 2009  
Blogger Katie Zeller said...

I want lettuce!!! We've asked our neighbor farmer to plow our land - it's been neglected far too long for us to reclaim it and we would like an herb garden, potager and some lawn. Maybe next year!

8:53 PM, March 14, 2009  
Blogger Ulla said...

yay to spring! yummy looking salad!:)

4:57 PM, March 15, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh yeah... blogs are starting to turn to spring. i love it. so sick of this winter. i go off salads during the winter and i can not wait to eat some soon. even just a simple frisse or bibb salad with sliced onion, fresh tomatoes, tonno and a squeeze of lemon and some really good extra virgin olive oil and i'm smiling.

6:21 PM, March 15, 2009  
Blogger Kristina Strain said...

For spring's first lettuces, I would choose something really light and fruity, to set off the tender greens. Maybe just some good olive oil, lemon, and salt!

We don't have fresh lettuce here yet, but it's on its way!

2:04 AM, March 16, 2009  
Blogger Nicole said...

Your salads look so lovely. And poached egg is one of my latest favorites. I just crave them and they are perfect for salads.

1:35 AM, March 17, 2009  
Blogger Maggie said...

So ready for salad! Not a lot of lettuces in our farmer's market yet, but soon, soon.

4:06 PM, March 19, 2009  
Blogger Jann said...

nothing better than fresh lettuce !I looked back at the salad you talked about under French Cafe Salads- a salad to die for!

1:40 PM, March 21, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just listened to your interview and I so enjoyed hearing your voice and and listening to you talking about your passion! And now I also know where your blogname..."notebook"...comes from. A delightful interview Lucy!!

12:46 PM, March 24, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got so caught up in your interview, I forgot to say I like your links. and I enjoy ordering a salad in France. With the excpetion of here and there, they are always fresh and interesting and TASTY, without being a mountain dumped on your plate!

12:51 PM, March 24, 2009  

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