PASSIVE salad 

How do you make a salad from perennial vegetables? How do they pair? Is there a best way to slice them? Here’s a recipe for example:

Salad burnett -a loose handful

French sorrel – 3 to 5 leaves

Scorzonera -10 leaves

Welsh onion -5 of the green tops picked off, or 1 onion removed from the base up.

Chocolate mint -2 sprigs

Stritello -loose handful

Some mache stems and leaves -as much as a handful.

Violet flowers for garnish -as many as 30 flowers per salad

The scorzonera, sorrel, and onion greens should be chopped -preferably into thin strips cut lengthwise. Mix this with the stritello and salad burnett and mache. The chocolate mint can then be chopped fine and evenly dispersed over the top with violet flowers for garnish. A light vinaigrette would compliment this best.


  1. Thoroughly enjoyed this. This spring I developed a passion for scorzonera leaves and used them a lot in salad, as well as linden leaves, sorrel, Welsh and walking onions, and the usual annual culprits. As the weather gets hot, though, I realize that I have far too many perennial onions and big patches of them need to go. I planted more scorzonera, and need more perpetual sorrel, since the regular kind can’t be stopped from going to seed when the temp goes up.
    I’m thinking of importing some of the salad mints from Richters, and I love orange balsam thyme leaves sprinkled over salads, and sometimes lemon thyme, especially if the dressing includes lemon juice.
    I wish that there were a perennial with leaves as tender and sweet as spring lettuce. Any suggestions?


    1. Too many perennial onions?! What a wonderful conundrum. I think the only thing that might be lacking in such an Eden is Mache. I wonder how it would fare in your dry winters, but I consider it the best lettuce replacement. It isn’t perennial of course, but comes up so dependably it could easily be called a perennial. It is quite tender -even the stems as it begins to bloom. Have you grown it before?


  2. I giggled at your remark about Eden. Just last week a distant neighbor stopped by as I was working in the front yard to comment “your garden is really springing up all over the place.” I agreed with pleasure that it was, and she said disapprovingly “so you had better start trimming things back.” It’s a disadvantage of suburban gardening.
    About mache, I realize that I have only tried to grow it once and not successfully, because our very dry winter winds desiccated it. Now that I use agricultural cloth covers during the winter, I would probably have much better luck with it, so I will try again. Thanks for the suggestion, as always.


    1. That’s very funny. It’s strange how some people have some sort of fear of overgrown plants -as though the plants will eat them. Actually intend to post about that in the near future. perhaps the overgrown plants will provide enough protection you won’t need agricultural cloth in the future -at least for mache. I’m quite sure you’ll love it.


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