December Salad

Reading the descriptions in Johnnie’s seed catalogue helps you learn about what makes-up a mixture of micro greens (brassica, red and green mustard and other cold tolerant greens). You also can find out how to keep the micro green alive in the cold (under cover or in a greenhouse). But I’m here to tell you all that reading does you absolutely no good until you try it. So in the last days of September, I ordered two packs of each of the following:

Early wonder beets
Spicy micro mix
Wildfire lettuce mix
Micro red Russian kale
Emperor spinach
Carmel spinach

As soon as the mailman delivered my seeds (turned out to be October 3rd), the seeds went directly into three prepared beds. When I say prepared, I mean they had been freed of any debris and weeds from the summer, turned and enhanced with an application of our homemade, kitchen-borne compost. The micro greens went into a raised bed, along with the remaining arugula from my summer seed purchase. The spinach and kale seeds went into beds on the ground. I didn’t have to wait long before the little shoots began to show. We were in luck; we had a mild autumn with consistent rain.


By mid-November we were harvesting the greens on a weekly basis, providing customers at Estia’s Little Kitchen with 2-hour salads every weekend. Lately, they have been sharing the center stage. They are tossed in a light red wine vinaigrette with baby carrots that are also planted in early October. The special board reads Local Peconic Bay Scallops served with our own “2-hour salad.”


The vinaigrette is simple, a combination of extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, shallots, garlic, herbs and a pinch of salt. The salad consists of greens harvested two hours in advance of the shift. Today’s blend includes Red Russian Kale, Spicy Micro Greens, Emperor Spinach, Wasabi (arugula) and those lovely Micro Wonder Beet Sprouts. As for the scallops, they are sautéed quickly over medium flame adding a squeeze of lemon with a few teaspoons of butter. Once done, they are ethereal. But I digress… this blog is not about scallops. It’s about my lunch of greens that goes with anything.

Fall greens are special; the chill of December air makes them crisp and sweet. This salad was so good I needed to photograph it. Of course, if you would like to taste it, I’ll have that special on our board at The Little Kitchen for as long as the scallops last and the frost doesn’t harm. I plant the greens under sheets, not in a greenhouse.


1-cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3-cup red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, crushed and finely diced
1 small shallot, finely diced
2-tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
A pinch of salt

The vinaigrette is best made a few hours in advance of service.


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