Today I harvested an assortment of early spring greens and delivered them to Ma(i)son to become the foundation for Taylor’s “Insalata di Campo,” which is on the menu this weekend. “Insalata di Campo” roughly translates from Italian as “field salad,” or, literally, “salad of the field.” This “forager’s salad” is popular in rural regions of Italy and it is composed of all the herbs, flowers, leafy greens and shoots that are in season and ready for harvest. The result is a salad that is diverse in both flavor and texture: a sweet, tangy, and crisp, eating experience. Greens like arugula add a spicy “bite.” Garlic mustard contributes a light pungency, while cool, refreshing pea tendrils and greens like nutty minutina and succulent claytonia balance the mix. When we started eating this diverse type of salad last summer we observed that it left us feeling much more satiated than a salad composed only of one type of green. We’ve come to love this diversity in flavors and few of our salads are composed of only lettuce anymore. Instead they are filled with pea tendrils, sylvetta arugula, and a mix of wild and domesticated greens.
This week fava bean leaves, claytonia, minutina, pea tendrils, garlic mustard, and arugula are all finding their way into the Insalata di Campo for a fresh taste of spring.
(Alex Wenger photos.)
Closeup of our spring greens.