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Sharon Hanna finds kissed-by-frost greens still growing in her edible almost-winter garden.
The weather has been so… different this season—a sheltered Scarlet Runner bean produced beans up until mid-November, not a bumper crop but enough to add to a yummy hearty soup.
The greens pictured were harvested last week from my garden. The kale has frozen a bit, a.k.a. “been kissed by frost” so has become sweeter—simply put, sugar is nature’s antifreeze. Kale loses some of its cabbage-y flavour and toughness after a few light frosts.
I have been happy and surprised with the arugula this year after following my own advice to plant it sparingly and give it lots of room. Seeding too closely together causes the plants to bolt, gives arugula an unpleasantly hot flavour, and makes the leaves tough and the stems woody. This arugula came from two plants growing about a foot apart, and the leaves are large and tender.
The dandelions were a nice surprise—adding a touch of wild to the salad… normally associated with early spring but there they were growing happily beside the arugula.
The lettuce—‘European Reds and Greens’—looking worse for wear added some nice magenta/pink tones. I look forward to trying that variety from Renee’s Seeds again in warmer weather.
Lightly toasted sunflower seeds—I was in a healthy mood :)—and a vinaigrette made with Gewürztraminer vinegar, olive oil, half a teaspoon sugar, salt and pepper… and a few thin slices of small Clementine, plus a handful of bright red pomegranate arils, completed my almost-winter salad. Toasted walnuts would be good too.