As there is a basic spring soup recipe so there is one for salad. Keep in mind that not too long ago, the first green leaves of spring were ingested to ready the body for spring and purge it of the ‘winter’ diet.
It is impossible to speak about herbs and salad greens and not note the dependency on their curative properties. The kitchen was the center of health care. Kitchen-gardens and the forest occasionally supplemented by ingredients purchased from the local pharmacy were relied upon to cure many ills.
I have cited dandelions here, but almost any spring vegetable, lightly blanched, can be used. Bacon bits, optional croutons well perfumed bygarlic cloves or cold boiled potatoes, poached or hardboil eggs and your favorite dressing go well with these greens.
Google ‘dandelion’ and the virtues of this plant from leaves to root are extolled; you could conclude that it is the asperine of the plant world. I love this plant for salad, nice young fresh leaves with croutons, bacon bits and a poached egg, all topped by your favorite dressing. Yummy! I can hear the protests, “Fine and good, but where does she think I am going to get these leaves?” There are not too many green patches that do not sport these plants, and please do not call them ‘weeds’. Just make sure that neither dogs nor foxen run where they grow. Collect your leaves in the morning and only from plants that have not sprouted a flower.
Once they have flowered they become slightly bitter, small young leaves are succulent and definitely not bitter.
The salad is not expensive can easily be served as a main course and is so very good for you. Enjoy!
Thyme, rosemary, laurel, parsley and garlic belonged to the register of home remedies. These were codified during the early nineteenth century in popular médecine sans médecin books, contemporary versions can still be bought!
Thyme and rosemary were used as fumigators and incense by the Greeks and Romans, a practice which continued until the 17th century in Europe. As did the use of thyme for its antiseptic and tonic qualities and rosemary for headaches, colds, and nervous disorders. Traces of this echoes in local memory when Mme. Aureliac recalls that her father drank a “horribly tasting rosemary infusion as a purifying tonic for one month each spring.”The beneficial effects of garlic; notably as a diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, and stimulant are still spoken of today. Its raw juice mixed with a few drops of vinegar functioned as an antiseptic in the days before penicillin, and as recently as World War I it was often the only antiseptic available to the soldiers.